Battle on to save Harpenden delivery office
WORKERS at Harpenden’s delivery office have signalled their intention to fight Royal Mail’s plans to close the building and move the service to St Albans.
Around 50 staff members will be relocated following the closure of the Station Road office, which is expected to take place in August.
A petition against the move has been set up and has already gained more than 12,000 signatures.
Tom Walker, branch secretary of the Communication Workers Union which represents the delivery office workers, said: “The people who work there are very upset at the prospect of being moved to St Albans and depriving Harpenden of its delivery office for the first time in around 100 years.”
The move would mean that members of the public would need to queue up at the near-by Harpenden Post Office to collect items which could not be delivered, or travel to the St Albans delivery office on Ashley Road for PO boxes and to collect mail without the correct postage.
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However, Mr Walker said that the union had identified another building in Harpenden which they believe could accommodate a delivery office.
He said: “We are now in the process of trying to persuade Royal Mail that this would be a better course of action than moving it to St Albans.
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“Not only will keeping the service in Harpenden be better for the community, it will also be better for the local shops and businesses as people won’t be travelling to St Albans to spend their money instead.”
The issue was discussed at the recent annual meeting of Harpenden Town Council and the idea of moving to alternative premises in the town gained much verbal support according to Mr Walker.
Plans to close the delievery office were announced last April. A spokesperson for Royal Mail said that this was due to declining mail volumes and increasingly tough trading conditions.
Royal Mail’s delivery sector manager, Mark Chambers, said: “We have been talking to our people about the move, as we must modernise our operations. The relocation of Harpenden is part of this, allowing us to place the business on a sound, secure and stable footing.
“Our service to customers will continue to be a top priority during these changes. Customers can be reassured that we will do all we can to minimise disruption and ensure we maintain the high level of service they expect and deserve from Royal Mail.”