A couple who have run Boxmoor’s Post Office for more than 14 years are facing the prospect of unemployment after officials drew up plans to relocate the service.
Husband-and-wife duo Dilip and Priya Patel took over the Post Office in Horsecroft Road in May 2001, but Priya has worked there since 1996.
But the Post Office is now proposing to move the service to Boxmoor Village Store in St John’s Road where longer opening hours - which Priya says are not required - will be on offer.
A six-week public consultation on the relocation runs until Monday, January 18.
If it goes ahead the couple, who live in Grovehill and previously ran a greengrocers in Boxmoor, will both be out of jobs.
Priya said: “At the moment I haven’t planned anything at all because I will cross that bridge when we come to it.
“December has been so, so busy. I’m just concentrating on my business instead of worrying about it.
“We will have to look for new jobs.”
As part of the plan, the Post Office says the relocation will allow the service to be open an extra 61 hours each week and it will be based in a ‘modern open-plan retail environment’.
But Priya said the additional hours are not required. “After 5pm it goes dead,” she said.
“People are used to it this way. 95 per cent of customers are objecting.
“My hands are tied.”
At the new venue Post Office services would be on offer Sunday to Thursday from 7am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 7am-11pm and Sunday from 7am-10pm.
The current Post Office is open from 9am-5.30pm on weekdays, fron 9am-12.30pm on Saturdays, and is closed on Sundays.
Regional manager Will Russell said: “We understand how important having a Post Office is to residents in Boxmoor and we are confident that this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.
“This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and marks a commitment to no more branch closures.”
> Send comments to Freepost YOUR COMMENTS to Post Office Ltd, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, via the customer helpline on 03457 22 33 44 or textphone 03457 22 33 55.
Customers can also share their views online through the quick and easy questionnaire at postofficeviews.co.uk with the branch code 055126.
Deadline: January 18.