11:43AM, Wednesday 11 May 2016
Maidenhead Post Office looks set to close, with services moved to WHSmith in the Nicholsons Centre.
Under the plans, the current Crown Post Office in the High Street would shut, with a new branch opening about 200 metres away in the existing WHSmith store in the Nicholsons Centre.
The announcement follows the decision in January to list Maidenhead Post Office among 42 other directly-run Crown post offices whose future was put up for consultation, prompting the launch of a campaign by the Advertiser to save the branch.
The reasons for the store being included on the list have not been made public and the Post Office has refused to comment on whether the branch is run at a profit or a loss.
In April, a deal to ‘relocate’ up to 61 branches into stores run by the national news agent was confirmed.
However, at the time, the Post Office refused to say whether WHSmith had expressed an interest in taking over services from the High Street branch.
WHSmith has repeatedly declined requests for comment.
Under the new plans, the new post office would have ‘four serving positions, a mixture of one screened and three open-plan counters’ and ‘two self-service kiosks’.
Opening hours would also increase, with services provided from 9am till 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am till 2.30pm on Sundays – about 10 hours per week more than is currently on offer.
Roger Gale, general manager of the Post Office Crown Network, said: “We are committed to keeping our services at the heart of communities which we know is hugely important to people.
“This proposal means we can continue to do that, into the future.
“Our customers will be offered the same range of services, with more convenient and longer opening hours, including Sundays.
“WHSmith already operates around 100 Post Office branches from their stores in the UK and we’ve been successfully working with them for nearly ten years.
“They have a proven record of running Post Offices with consistently high levels of customer service.”
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