Hundreds sign petitions against Post Office plans in Thames Ditton

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Thames Ditton’s post office could be open for up to 96 hours per week under plans to move to a new home in September.

Under the proposals, the existing post office at 42 High Street will move to mini-supermarket Simply Fresh, at 31 High Street, to create a "modern open-plan, local style branch".

If housed at Simply Fresh, the post office would open from 7am to 9pm weekdays and Saturdays and from 7am to 7pm on Sundays; an extra 49-and-a-half hours.

Neighbours said the site would be too small to house the post office services but said the location within the village was a secondary concern.

On the Thames Ditton and Weston Green Residents’ Association forum, one member posted: "Their [Simply Fresh] aisles are annoyingly too narrow but they may have a solution to this. I hope they can, it’s not a pleasant shopping experience at the moment."

Another forum user posted: "I get the impression that it is a done deal and the consultation won’t change things.

"The owners of the current post office outlet have made some cosmetic changes and it does look better.

"The last thing we need is an empty shop and until we see drawings of how it will work, I’m not buying into a move to Simply Fresh."

Thames Ditton Councillor Ruth Lyon said more than 600 people had signed a petition against the move.

She said: "What we have got now is something that works. We want to make sure what they have proposed will work equally as well.

"What worries me is we are going to do a double whammy and it might compromise both services. It seems to me the only reason that the Post Office is proposing these changes is to save money."

The proposed move is part of a new concept from the Post Office - delivering services from a till at a shop counter alongside retail transactions instead of from a separate screened counter.

Julia Marwood, Post Office regional network manager for the south, said: "We understand how important having a post office is to residents in Thames Ditton and we are confident this new modern post office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.

"This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the post office and marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes."

A public consultation on the plans runs until July 31.

To submit your views, email comments@postoffice.co.uk, call 0845 7223344 or visit postofficeviews.co.uk using branch code 09202399.

  • What do you think of the plans? Leave a comment below or email laura.proto@london.newsquest.co.uk

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