A campaign to prevent the closure of the Brunswick Village post office has failed.
The Post Office has announced it is pressing ahead with plans to merge it with the Melville Road post office early next year - despite complaints from campaigners that it will leave elderly and less-mobile customers facing a lengthy uphill walk to Seven Dials.
Councillor Ollie Sykes, a Green councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide, who set up an online petition that attracted more than 2,000 signatures, said: “This is a thoughtless and callous cut that makes no attempt to meet residents’ and businesses’ concerns and doesn’t seriously consider the effect on neighbouring post offices. The effect will be to run down the entire local network further.
“I’m shocked that the Post Office has not responded more positively to the huge weight of public opinion or considered any alternative provision. The response to the consultation has felt like a foregone conclusion, despite the massive impacts on local residents and nearby small businesses who will lose a lot of trade.”
Two offline petitions were submitted, totalling more than 5,400 signatures.
Peter Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove, said the closure was “unforgiveable”.
The Post Office said the branch had been used by fewer customers in recent years. It added there were four other branches within a mile of the Western Road branch, three of which were accessible by bus.
Roger Gale, the Post Office's Crown Network General Manager, said: “We are committed to maintaining Post Office services in the area. We believe that merging Western Road into Melville Road is the right way forward from both a commercial sustainability and customer service perspective.
“We further believe that given the close proximity of the branches, together with the number of alternative Post Office branches in the surrounding area and their capacity to accommodate any additional footfall following the changes, local customer needs in Brighton and Hove will continue to be met.”
The recently-refitted Melville Road branch will have staffing levels reviewed; staff at the Brunswick Village branch have been given the option of transferring to Melville Road.
Upper Portslade post office is to be moved into Rishi News, a nearby convenience store, as part of the Post Office’s modernisation programme.