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Post Office Closure

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Joined 04-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 20 April, 2007 - 08:44 am:   

It appears that Forest Hill post office is on the list of 70 that are planned to be moved to WH Smiths stores. ws/2007/04/20/npost20.xml

This would leave another significant gap on the high street in Forest Hill. But what worries me most is the affect this could have when combined with the plans for redeveloping the station area.

The plans from Lewisham council recommend moving the station to more or less where WH Smiths is located and building more shops and flats in the remaining area. This is key to the revitalisation of Forest Hill town centre with the arrival of the tube. By moving the post office inside WH Smiths this may mean that Forest Hill is left without a post office for a number of years until WH Smiths can find a suitable site in the new development.

This is not the time to be closing FH post office and concentrating services in the WH Smiths site. I hope Lewisham council do all they can to oppose this move by WH Smiths.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 20 April, 2007 - 12:25 pm:   

Michael, are these new plans from Lewisham Council or a rehash of the old town centre regen proposals? I wasn't aware these were now live.Is there a programme?

Its a bizarre decision by the Royal Mail to dispose of their business outlets in this way but no doubt this is a way of reducing their overheads to improve their competitiveness. Notwithstanding the regeneration plans for FH station area, what happens though if WH Smith outlets close due to poor economic performance? The large one on Sloane Square did and you can't get a better location than that- it was always busy.

If moved to WH Smiths in FH the facility will have to be on the ground floor due to wheelchair access, which doesn't leave a lot of room for anything else unless both operations are downsized. Sounds like too much of a compromise in either case. Will wait to hear more but , yes this move does not make sense at this current time.
Joined 15-04-2006
Posted on Saturday, 21 April, 2007 - 01:02 pm:   

Its such a busy post office - what a disaster.

Surely the post is just one of many areas of public service that shouldn't be "open to competition" - all thats happened since the free market has been given access to the post is that prices have gone up and post offices have shut down.
Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Monday, 23 April, 2007 - 07:56 am:   

I am also concerned about W H Smith.
It is a mystery to me how it still makes money.
I try to support it but seems to have very old fashioned opening hours.
9 am Sat and 8 am weekdays. Does not open Sundays.
Even then may Sat's I have been outside at after
9am and no sign of opening.
Of course people get fed up and go elsewhere.
The newsagent just along Dartmouth Rd has much longer hours.
If combining with Post Office saves Smith's might be a plus factor
Joined 04-02-2007
Posted on Monday, 23 April, 2007 - 06:09 pm:   

I hear that the sub post office in HOP is probably going too which is a shame, I cannot see how having the post office in smiths in FH will work. Mind you could they not move smiths to where they post office is I right in thinking it is a bigger building?
Joined 12-12-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 - 02:30 am:   

WH Smiths are hardly going to move from their prime location.
How about the Post Office combining with Forest Hill station?
Train tickets, road tax, passports, foreign money, parcels - its all travel related.
Plus both sets of customers love queuing...
Joined 16-07-2004
Posted on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 - 10:29 am:   

Perryman - if the WH Smith land gets CPO'd they won't have much choice!
Joined 12-11-2006
Posted on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 - 01:08 pm:   

WH Smith is crazy, I walk past at about 5.50 on weekdays and it's already shut - they're missing the workers getting off the trains!
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Tuesday, 24 April, 2007 - 04:49 pm:   

Agree about Smiths - it really should open an hour earlier and later and would attract much more passing trade. Hopefully if revamped it could have a fresh start - potentially a partnerhip for a coffe shop?

With reards the post office, every time I've ever been in there, the queue's have been enormous. This is hardly a village shop serving 2 old biddies and a friendly dog. Would Smith's want those types of queues in the store?
Joined 24-05-2006
Posted on Friday, 27 April, 2007 - 08:15 pm:   

Seems to me:
The existing WH Smiths is far too small to take on the Post Office Business so WHS will want to do some sort of development to take advantage of their new business opportunity
WHS will want to stay close to their current location
Forest Hill Station is long overdue for redevelopment
Government money is coming to improve Forest Hill Station under the Access for All programme
TfL money is coming to Forest Hill Station under the ELR extension.
If only all the right heads can be knocked together we might get a new station incorporating decent access and a decent WHS and Post Office.
The question is - who has the ability to knock the very many heads together to get something to happen?
Joined 22-06-2006
Posted on Saturday, 28 April, 2007 - 08:44 am:   

Andrewr - I couldn't agree more, and knocking the right heads together is something that we (the ward councillors) are attempting to do at the moment. The big problem is trying to find the right (or indeed any) head to knock at Network Rail...
Joined 31-05-2006
Posted on Thursday, 11 October, 2007 - 06:31 pm:   

I don't know if there's activity elsewhere about this, but I wrote to the Post Office as part of the 'consultation' expressing concerns about the size of WH Smith etc. They replied (very broadly paraphrasing) that they knew what they were doing (although their reply to me mistakenly said I was in Hemel Hepstead). It was such a generic response that I wrote again asking them to address the actual points I had made.

The reply came explaining that, 'since going into consultation' they have decided to put the Post Office on the FIRST FLOOR of Smiths! Along with that they have extended the 'consultation' until 23 October.
Joined 09-02-2007
Posted on Thursday, 11 October, 2007 - 07:52 pm:   

Nice for anyone with a wheelchair or a pram. That won't be accessible, will it?
Joined 31-05-2006
Posted on Thursday, 11 October, 2007 - 08:39 pm:   

well, they are planning a lift. They even sent me the plans.

Assuming this is a fete accompli, however, I am starting to get concerned for what the existing PO site will become. Vacant premises perhaps, or maybe Ladbrokes would see an opportunity!
Joined 09-02-2007
Posted on Thursday, 11 October, 2007 - 09:04 pm:   

Yes, it's a trick property to do anything with. In some ways it's a pity there are flats above. I'd quite like to see it knocked down.
Joined 17-03-2005
Posted on Friday, 12 October, 2007 - 10:04 am:   

On the odd occassion I've been to be PO it has always been packed. If it is to be squeezed on the first floor... not good!

Also it means FH loses it's only source of books and CD's etc. It has saved me when I've had to do some last minute birthday shopping many times.
Joined 18-04-2005
Posted on Friday, 12 October, 2007 - 01:13 pm:   

I agree not ideal but I suppose we at leasst hold onto to both a Smiths's and a Post Office.
Without this I would think Smith's would close. Cannot believe they are making a profit. Never very customer friendly anyway.

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