Write a letter to save sorting office

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Letter of the week

from Sue Johnson, chairman, Berkhamsted Citizens Association

The Berkhamsted Citizens Association has major concerns about the proposal to close the Royal Mail sorting office in Berkhamsted.

While we are sympathetic to Royal Mail’s need to modernise and rationalise its delivery network, the possible loss of the local collection facility will be a major blow to individuals and businesses alike.

Although Royal Mail offers a re-delivery service, this does not work where a charge has to be paid or assist the significant numbers of residents in the town who work full-time away from home. The ability to visit a delivery office is essential, particularly when time is of the essence.

We hope, in line with commitments made in the past, that when the office closes down alternative arrangements within Berkhamsted will be made for the collection of mail. No such arrangements have been confirmed yet.

If a collection point in the town is not provided, we consider there will be a significant environmental impact.

The distance people would have to drive to the new delivery office in Maxted Road in Hemel Hempstead would be around seven miles each way.

We also consider that there would be a significant impact, of both cost and time, on small businesses and enterprises who may not be able to ensure their business address is occupied for a whole day to await a redelivery.

However, we are particularly concerned for non-drivers for whom the loss of a mail collection point in the town will be particularly significant. We have looked at the local bus services, and the journey looks grim.

All this makes a strong argument to keep some form of mail collection point in the town.

It appears there is still time to influence Royal Mail, so please take the time to write to: Mark Higson, Managing Director, Operations and Modernisation, Royal Mail Group Ltd, 100 Victoria Embankment, EC4Y 0HQ.

Please also consider writing to our MP David Gauke, Berkhamsted Town Council and Dacorum Borough Council.