Post office set to shut for revamp

Hailsham Post Office
Hailsham Post Office

The Post Office in Hailsham will close for refurbishment

- two years after a revamped

service opened in the town.

Customers of the High Street business will have to travel to either Polegate or Lower Horsebridge for the service between April 18 and 25.

The refurbishment is part of plans to modernise the network across the UK and to increase opening hours at Hailsham Post Office, said a Post Office spokesman.

The town branch’s opening hours are due to be extended by 13 hours a week.

To accommodate the changes the type of serving positions and layout of the branch is being reviewed with one of the screened counters set to be removed and a serving point installed at the retail counter.

Mark Lawrence, Post Office regional network manager for South & East England, said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Hailsham, and we are confident that this new-style Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.”

He added: “This is part of a three-year investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, that will see around 6,000 branches (about half the Post Office network) converting to new-style branches. This investment makes a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”

A customer, who did not want to be named, said there had been a lack of information from the company about the closure. He said a colleague had been told by a Post Office counter clerk the service would close in March, but despite two letters the firm had not told him the correct date the work would start.

He said: “It’s going to cause a ruck in Hailsham. It seems a very, very poor show. It’s going to mean aggravation for us. We are able bodied so if push comes to shove we can get into a car and go to one of the two post offices. But this is an area of largely elderly people and they are having to face going to Horsebridge of Polegate.

He added: “It’s a public service at the end of the day. They should continue to provide a service for customers, but they are not, they are withdrawing the service and that is the issue.

“The fact they are just pulling the rug out and saying you can go elsewhere is not on. We do quite a lot of mail order, 20 to 30 things a week, and this will be a nuisance when they withdraw the essential service.”

The Post Office, now independent of Royal Mail, is the largest retail network in the UK, with more than 11,500 branches.

The new opening hours will be Monday to Saturday from 7am to 5.30pm and Sunday from 7am to 1pm.