A petition to save Pudsey’s town centre post office from closure has gathered almost 1,500 signatures.
Post Office Limited has recently announced proposals to close the Church Lane branch and replace it with a small counter in another shop or supermarket on a franchise basis as part of a national shake-up.
In total, 37 directly managed ‘Crown’ branches face the axe.
An online petition against the proposals says: “This is a busy, heavily utilised office used by a wide demographic of ages for parcels, currency, post, passports, making payments.
“If the branch was based in a franchise it would become dependent on another business.
“This would endanger long term postal service provision in Pudsey could lead to current staff losing their jobs.
“The nearest Crown post office if Pudsey closes is Leeds or Bradford town centre, which would have a significant cost, time and accessibility impact for all users, and especially older residents.”
Post Office bosses announced earlier this month that they would be “seeking partners” for 37 Crown branches.
Roger Gale, sales and trade marketing director, said: “We’re committed to maintaining the post office’s special place on the high street and the changes we are making underpin our continued commitment to give communities in every part of the country access to essential services.
“The vast majority of these branches are run with partners, and in the locations announced we believe this will also be a more sustainable approach for the long term. With consumer habits changing, and the high cost of maintaining premises in prime high street locations, franchising helps us to keep services where our customers want and need them.”
He added: “We will take time to identify the right partners over the coming months and all proposals will be subject to local consultation.”
Pudsey councillor Mick Coulson said he and his ward colleagues are “working hard” to try and find a solution.
“We have been in touch with the Post Office and they have told us there is no way back,” he said. “They won’t even franchise in the same building with new management. They want the building empty.”
The YEP understands discussions are already under way with at least one interested party which could take over the franchise and ensure the branch stays in a town centre location.