‘Listen to reason’: Royal Mail urged not to close Brooke Road sorting office.
Both Labour and Conservative councillors last night called on Royal Mail to keep the under-threat sorting office on Brooke Road open.
A petition seeking to prevent residents having to potentially spend hours travelling to Leyton to reclaim their packages has garnered almost 3,000 signatures by word-of-mouth in just a few weeks.
Campaigner Susan Downing last night warned of the impact the closure of the office could have on the borough’s most vulnerable, with both Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville and Conservative Cllr Simche Steinberger joining residents in their hope for the building, dubbed an “E5 icon” at the meeting, to remain in the community.
Downing said: “With the closure of Brooke Road office, local residents will be expected to travel to the Leyton office to collect their parcels and make enquiries. This is an utterly ridiculous journey prospect. Leyton is not an easy place to get to from Hackney – a one-hour round trip from our area outside of peak times for those with a car and for bus users, so between 90 minutes and two hours for a round trip.
“Bus services are dwindling, there are less seats available due to distancing measures, and access roads between Clapton and Leyton are already clogged with barely moving traffic due to road access restrictions. We are repeatedly advised to travel for essential reasons only, to drive less to cut pollution and expected to stay local. Brooke Road provides a convenient easy access service in the heart of our community, yet we will be expected to make lengthy and out of the way journeys for a parcel or an enquiry.
“Collecting a package from Brooke Road can be achieved when dropping the kids off at nursery or popping out for groceries. It has a large indoor waiting area and wide street level entrance, and accommodates all disabilities. Collecting from Leyton will be out of the reach of many and very time-consuming and stressful for everybody else.”
Downing added that the proposed mid-November closure date “could not come at a worse time” with increased lockdown movement restrictions looming as coronavirus cases rise.
The campaigner concluded: “Royal Mail has already today reported a vast increase in parcel volume since lockdown began, yet they intend to remove a local service that ensures these packages can be accessed by local recipients.
“Brooke Road is a vital piece of the local community infrastructure, it is well-used and much-valued, and we need it to continue being a community service.”