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Customers facing 45 minutes queues following post office closure

PUBLISHED: 14:19 12 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:19 12 December 2019

The Co-op post office in Wymondham has seen a huge increase in customers. Photo: Denise Bradley

The Co-op post office in Wymondham has seen a huge increase in customers. Photo: Denise Bradley

©Archant Photographic 2008

Frustration is growing in a town where the post office closed earlier this year, with customers forced to queue for 45 minutes at an alternative on its outskirts.

The post office in the East of England Co-op on Lime Tree Avenue has been overrun with  new customers. Photo: GoogleThe post office in the East of England Co-op on Lime Tree Avenue has been overrun with new customers. Photo: Google

Wymondham town centre lost its post office in August, when the postmaster at the One Stop shop, where it was based, stepped down.

Since then, Post Office UK has been hunting for someone to take over the role but, as of yet, a replacement service has not opened.

Although the landlords at the White Hart pub on Market Street have applied to take on the role of postmaster, they said they were not likely to know if their bid was successful until Christmas Eve.

In the interim, customers have been forced to travel to Lime Tree Avenue, on the outskirts of Wymondham, where there is a second post office located within the East of England Co-op.

The Post Office inside the One Stop store on Market Street, Wymondham, closed in August. Photo: GoogleThe Post Office inside the One Stop store on Market Street, Wymondham, closed in August. Photo: Google

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But the sudden influx of new customers, coupled with the increased trade over the festive period, has put strain on the small shop and its post office, which only has one till.

Barbara Richards, 78, said people had been forced to wait in queues for more than 45 minutes, and that although the post office staff had been helpful, the situation was unacceptable.

She said: "Wymondham is an expanding town, we have lots of new properties going up but no infrastructure to support it. In the run up to Christmas everyone wants to sort their car tax out and post cards and gifts, and there should have been better provision to allow that to run smoothly."

Kevin Smith, head of food operations at the East of England Co-op, said the store had experienced a "large increase" in the number of people using the Lime Tree Avenue post office, and praised staff for their handling of the situation.

A spokesman for Post Office UK said: "We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure.

"We understand how important a Post Office is to a community and we would like to reassure customers that we are working hard to restore a Post Office to the area as soon as possible. In the interim alternative branches include Rustens, Hethersett, Barnham Broom and Bunwell."

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