Petition launched against Royal Mail’s plans to close Upper Clapton sorting office
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Nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition calling on Royal Mail to ditch its plans to shut its sorting office in Upper Clapton.
The proposal to close the branch in Brooke Road was mooted in March, and it will close on November 14.
People will then have to travel to Leyton’s High Road to collect deliveries and packages, which is an hour’s round-trip by bus.
Cllr Michael Desmond told the Gazette: “This is both commercial folly - given the upsurge in parcel deliveries and online shopping during the pandemic - and morally indefensible.
“It will also add to congestion and pollution. I wrote to Royal Mail in March conveying the importance of the office for local people - if anything, it has become more important and been more extensively used since then.”
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The petition, set up by people in the community, states: “In this new future of minimal contact and increasing digitalisation, contact with the familiar faces of people within our community has never been more important. Many people in our community will be left feeling ever more isolated if this office closes.”
“Journey cost and time spent in transit, along with reduced bus services and an expectation that we should all be endeavouring to travel less in these current times makes the closure of our local office an absolute injustice.
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“Residents such as the elderly, disabled, people with health issues, parents with young children in tow and people with transport challenges will struggle after this closure.”
A spokesperson for Royal Mail pointed out that anyone unable to get to Leyton has the option to arrange a free redelivery on another day, including Saturdays, or to deliver the item to another address in the same postcode area.
They did not give a specific reason for the closure but said “offices are relocated from time to time for a number of reasons”.
“Sometimes leases expire and are not renewed,” they added. “Sometimes it is driven by the change in the profile of the mail we deliver, with more parcels, and fewer letters, which means that some of our delivery offices are no longer fit for purpose.
“Delivery offices may not, for example, have enough space to store parcels, or parking for the vans we use to deliver.
“We have worked with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and our people to minimise the impact on the service we provide to our customers in the E5 postcode area.”
The government sold off the remaining 14 per cent of Royal Mail it still owned five years ago, ending a privatisation process that started in 2013.
View the petition at chng.it/6w4h2jfn.