A public consultation on the provision of post office services in Bradley Stoke has demonstrated an overwhelming demand for a larger post office in the town.
The survey, conducted by the Town Council between August and October this year, saw 92.7% of the 273 respondents express the view that there is a need for a larger post office in Bradley Stoke.
A clear majority (68.1%) specifically said they would like to see a large post office at the Willow Brook Centre, a proportion that increases to 76.6% if those that expressed two or more locational preferences are included.
The town’s only current post office, within the Tesco Express store at Bradley Pavillions, Pear Tree Road, is criticised by many of the respondents for being too small and offering an inadequate range of services for a town the size of Bradley Stoke.
Parking facilities at the existing North Bradley Stoke post office are condemned by many respondents as inadequate and there are numerous complaints of people experiencing long waiting times at the two window facility.
The consultation was carried out after Cllr Tom Aditya, newly elected in May this year, raised the matter at July’s Full Council meeting, having campaigned as a resident for better post office facilities since as long ago as 2007.
The Town Council has now agreed to send the results of the consultation to the Royal Mail, Tesco, the Willow Brook Centre and the local MP.
Cllr Aditya previously revealed in an article in the newsletter of the South Gloucestershire Asian Project that the Royal Mail is seemingly against the opening of a post office at the Willow Brook Centre, writing:
“… neighbouring post offices with the help of Royal Mail officers are trying to obstruct opening up a Town Centre post office in Bradley Stoke.”
Tesco, who operate the current post office franchise at Pear Tree Road, also appear less than keen to see any changes.
Prior to the commencement of the Town Council consultation exercise, The Journal was given a less than encouraging statement from the Tesco press office.
A spokesperson told us that the post office within the Pear Tree Road Tesco Express store was “incredibly popular with our customers and used by thousands of people [every month]”. To close the facility and move it to the Willow Brook Centre would mean “an extra one-and-a-half mile / twenty minute walk for many of our customers”, they added.
Tesco told us they would like to keep the existing post office at Pear Tree Road but would have no objection if the Royal Mail wished to open an additional branch at the Willow Brook Centre.
The spokesperson insisted there was no space to accommodate a post office within the Tesco Extra store “due to the large number of lines that it carries”.
Scott Lahive, Manager of the Willow Brook Centre, said he would welcome any proposal to site a post office at the Centre, although he cautioned that it was unlikely that any retailer other than Tesco Extra would be able to accommodate it. “It’s a commercial decision for Tesco”, he added.
More info: BSTC Post Office Consultation Report (BSTC) [PDF]
Photo: Post office campaigner Tom Aditya pictured in front of the Tesco Express store at Bradley Pavillions prior to his election as a Town Councillor.
Services not currently available at Bradley Pavillions include:
- Car Tax and Passport Check & Send: Available at Rodway Road, Patchway (1.3 miles from the centre of Bradley Stoke)
- ID Checking Services: Available at Church View, Filton (2.0 miles)
- Driving Licences and Foreign Currency: Available at Straits Parade, Fishponds (3.7 miles)
Related link: Post Office Branch Finder
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