ANOTHER local post office in the Huddersfield area looks set to be axed before Christmas.
Cowlersley Post Office in Manchester Road will be the sixth post office to close its doors since March this year.
Longwood, Taylor Hill, Crosland Moor, Lowerhouses and Netheroyd Hill post offices have all closed.
But the Cowlersley plan has already met with anger and concern from hard-hit local residents.
The closures are part of Post Office Ltd's plans, announced last year, to restructure and modernise more than 9,000 urban Post Office branches.
It claims that in many cities and towns there are too many outlets competing for too little business.
Cowlersley sub-postmaster Kevin Gibson has run the post office with his wife Elizabeth since May, 1987.
He said the closure was only a proposal at this stage, but he said he would miss the customers if the plans went ahead.
The announcement of a consultation period for Cowlersley has already been met with dismay by local people.
They will face a trip to either Milnsbridge or Linthwaite post offices to collect their pensions or benefits if the proposals go-ahead.
Geoffrey Lumb, 66, of Cowlersley Lane, Cowlersley, said there was nowhere to park near the post office in Milnsbridge.
Mr Lumb, who broke his back and a leg in an accident last year and is registered disabled, said a bus trip to Milnsbridge and back would take at least one-and-a-half hours.
And he said he feared for many elderly people collecting their pension after several muggings in the area.
"A lot of people feel very strongly about this. It is definitely not a step in the right direction," said Mr Lumb, who lives with his wife Ethel, 65.
The Post Office's head of area David Mellows-Facer, said: "Proposals to close post office branches are not made without considerable research and discussion.
"We are anxious that customers and all relevant organisations understand our rationale and have the opportunity to give us their views.
"We have a responsibility to ensure that customers in Huddersfield will continue to have reasonable access to local Post Office products and services.
" Even after any changes are made, well over 95% of customers will still live within a mile of a Post Office branch."
He said they had made sure that the Milnsbridge Post Office branch on Market Street, and the Linthwaite Post Office branch on Manchester Road, would be fully geared up to cope with extra customers if the closure went ahead permanently.
But he said before a final decision was made Post Office Ltd wanted to hear of any concerns customers and others might have about the closure and about the services provided by the nearest alternative branches.
He stressed that no final decisions would be taken until all views had been considered.
Customers are asked to write before October 16 to: National Consultation Team, PO Box 641, St Albans, AL1 5XN.
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