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National park chair criticises post office closures

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 12 December 2007

12 December 2007

National park chair criticises post office closures

Peak District National Park Authority chair Narendra Bajaria has slammed the closure of three national park post offices as “a real blow to our efforts to create sustainable communities.”

Mr Bajaria had appealed to the Post Office to re-think its proposals to axe branches at Edensor, Bonsall and Moorhall, Bakewell – part of a plan to close 77 branches across the East Midlands.

But despite a wave of public opposition during the six-week consultation period, the Post Office has confirmed the closure of 75 branches (saving one in Nottingham and one in Rutland).

Mr Bajaria said: “I am extremely disappointed that national park communities will suffer the loss of these services. It is a real blow to our efforts to create sustainable communities and does not take into account the special circumstances of rural living.

“The Post Office says that 99 per cent of people live within three miles of a post office, but three miles is a long way when public transport can be infrequent and costly, walking is difficult for the elderly or for those with young children, and we are trying to persuade people to reduce car-use.”

Any application for the change of use of a post office would be very closely examined by the authority’s planning committee, he added. Its priority would be to see another community facility in its place in order to safeguard local amenities.

The Edensor closure will end a 150-year post office presence in the historic Chatsworth estate village. Bakewell’s Moorhall branch serves an area of social housing, impacting particularly on young families, low income families and the elderly, and Bonsall’s post office is a highly-valued village amenity.

This is an archived press release

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