Readers question Hartlepool Post Office move proposal

Post Office Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool.

Post Office Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool.

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Mail readers have questioned the decision to move Hartlepool’s main Post Office to a nearby WH Smiths outlet.

The service has announced a proposal to axe the current site in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.

The plan is to move postal services to inside the retail store - which is also in the main part of the shopping centre.

The Post Office says the move would extend opening hours for customers and also provide a seven-day-a-week service to the public.

Customers and interested parties are being invited to give their views on the proposed move during a six-week public consultation, which is now underway.

Roger Gale, general manager of the Post Office Crown Network, said: “WH Smith already operates around 100 Post Office branches from their stores in the UK and we’ve been successfully working with them for nearly 10 years.

“They have a proven record of running Post Offices with consistently high levels of customer service.”

Visitors to the Mail’s Facebook page had their say on the issue.

Jennifer Lindridge wrote: “You can’t even get round WH Smiths as it is, think this needs a rethink and someone to actually get round it with wheelchair etc and I mean safely before giving it the go ahead to save a few pounds.”

Linda Simmonds wrote: “Seems to be a sign of the times.”

David Wheelhouse said: “Town centre is on its knees.

“Why go to town centre when you can go to Seaton Post Office or Brenda Road retail park or any supermarket, get everything you need and park free.

“Someone needs to wake up before it’s too late.”

Mary Grazier wrote: “The shopping centre is dead now it just wants burying, we go through to the Boro or Dalton Park.”

Trevor Jones said: “The town centre will eventually be flattened and houses built there.

“Mark my words its going to happen, everything shopping wise is going to be over the marina side of town all in one area.”

Michael Hunter New wrote: “Hartlepool town centre will be closed in a few years and houses built on it.”

Lesley Hornsby wrote: “Don’t think about people in wheelchairs or parents with twin buggies.

“Shame that the people that own our town centre don’t own Newcastle town centre what a difference, about time something was done about it.”

If the proposal is given the go-ahead the branch will move in February next year.

Customers can provide views during the consultation by visiting the website at postofficeviews.co.uk or by email at comments@postoffice.co.uk.

They can also comment by phone on 03457 22 33 44.