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Fife post office closures hitting customers in the pocket

26 Feb 2019, 13:16 ... he-pocket/

The mystery closure of a number of Fife post offices is hitting local residents and businesses in the pocket, it has been claimed.

A north east Fife-based online company owner has lost more than £200 of custom since five post office branches were temporarily shut on February 6, while elderly neighbours have had to go without their pensions.

The Courier revealed this week that Post Office bosses had suspended services in Markinch, Leven and Coaltown of Balgonie and were said to be conducting an investigation.

It has since emerged that satellite services at Colinsburgh and Windygates are also closed.

A sixth branch in Alloa is similarly affected.

Post Office bosses said they could not confirm when the branches would reopen but were working hard to restore services as quickly as possible.

Colinsburgh man Martin Gorrie, who runs online bookshop Kingdom Books, said he had been unable to post customers’ items.

Mr Gorrie, 50, has been registered disabled since a stroke two years ago affected his mobility and he relies on his local post office to fulfil orders.

“I can’t use my left hand and I find it difficult to get in cars so I always use the post office in the village,” he said.

“I haven’t been able to post anything for more than two weeks.

“I have customers all over the place and I had an email this morning from one in Spain asking where her book is but I’ve not been able to post it.”

“The post office being closed has caused me a lot of problems and I have elderly neighbours who have not been able to get their pensions.”

Four of the affected branches are housed within convenience stores run by Markinch-based chain Eros Retail but are operated by the UK-wide Post Office Ltd.

The Colinsburgh and Windygates facilities are described as “outreach services” operated from Leven.

Eros said the closures were due to procedural reasons.

A spokesman said they were working with the Post Office to restore services as quickly as possible but that the situation was out of their control.

The Post Office has apologised to customers for the inconvenience.

“We understand and appreciate how much communities rely on our services,” said a spokesperson.

“We would like to reassure customers that the decision to suspend services at any of our branches is never taken lightly.”

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