Protest over plans to close Royal Mail delivery office in south Leeds

Protestors at Cross Flatts Park hold a demonstration against Royal Mail's proposed closure of the Holbeck Delivery Office.

Dozens of campaigners gathered at Cross Flats Park in Beeston to protest against plans by the Royal Mail to close the Holbeck Delivery Office.

Employees, their friends and family, local residents and community leaders all came together on Sunday to show their strength of feeling against the proposed closure.

Royal Mail bosses announced last month they are considering relocating the Holbeck office to its mail processing unit at Wellington Bridge, near Leeds city centre. They said it would “improve facilities for our customers in the LS11 post code area” and is part of the company’s ongoing bid to increase efficiency and provide delivery offices which are “fit for purpose”.

But Andy Lee, secretary for the Communications Workers Union’s (CWU) Leeds No 1 branch said: “How does it improve services for the local area if it’s is moving out of the local area? And to a place that is inaccessible to people with no transport. It makes no sense.”

Asghar Khan, political officer for the CWU Leeds No 1 branch and a Labour councillor for Richmond Hill, said 500 people had so far signed a petition against the plans.

He said: “People with no transport would need to get two buses. Even with transport, you have to go through the Armley gyratory which is one of the worst routes into Leeds on a morning. So for businesses to pick up collections first thing on a morning, it’s not conducive.”

The Holbeck office has been in operation for 50 years and currently employs 53 staff. Royal Mail said no job losses are expected.

A 12-week consultation on the plans is due to end on December 6. A Royal Mail spokeswoman said a decision would not be made until the new year and stressed there would be no need for customers to travel to the Leeds office.

“Royal Mail offers a free re-delivery service, six days a week, to the customer’s address or another in the same postcode area,” she said.

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