MP calls for Peacehaven Royal Mail depot to stay

PEACEHAVEN MP Simon Kirby called on Royal Mail to abandon plans to close the town’s delivery office after the company released plans to move it to Newhaven.

Two weeks ago the Express reported how Royal Mail had released plans to shut the Peacehaven delivery depot on Hoyle Road and transfer it three miles down the road to Newhaven.

Now Mr Kirby says he wants the current depot to remain open, or another location to be found in the town.

He said: “I am concerned at the impact this move would have on local residents, many of whom are elderly, who would have to travel much further to collect undelivered items in future under these proposals.

“Peacehaven is an expanding area and I have grave concerns about any plans to move these services away. That is why I am calling on Royal Mail to retain the existing facility at Peacehaven, or find another suitable location in the town, and would urge people to sign my online petition at www.simonkirby.org.”

Sally Hopkins a spokeswoman for Royal Mail said if residents were out when mail was delivered, they did not have to go and collect it from the depot, but could arrange a free redelivery.

She said: “The lease on our Peacehaven premises, which delivers mail to customers in the BN10 7 to BN10 8 postcode areas, has expired.

“To provide a more cost-effective operation we have chosen not to renew and to relocate to an existing empty unit we have in Newhaven.

“The Peacehaven premises will be handed back to the landlords following vacation in spring 2012.”

She said Royal Mail was faced with declining mail volumes and increasingly tough trading conditions.

She continued: “At the same time, we must respond to the huge growth in electronic communications and the resulting decline in overall mail volumes. In the UK, mail volumes have declined by 40 per cent in the past five years.

“With 18m fewer letters posted every day compared to five years ago, we must modernise our operations and the consolidation of delivery offices will play a major part in allowing us to place the business on a sound, secure and stable footing. We also appreciate this move will impact on customers in the area and our planning activities always give due consideration as to how we can best protect and serve the interest of our customers.”