Dear Customer Chorley Crown Post Office® branch Cleveland Street, Chorley, PR7 1AW Decision - move to new premises & branch modernisation I’m writing to confirm that following a period of local public consultation and review, we have made the decision to proceed with the proposal to move the above Post Office into the WHSmith store at 6-8 New Market Street, Chorley, PR7 1BY, where it will still be operated by Post Office Limited. We believe the WHSmith premises will provide an excellent host location for Chorley Post Office, which will continue to be known as Chorley Crown Post Office. As the Post Office service will still be run by us and you will be served by the same branch team. The WHSmith retail offer will complement the wide range of Post Office products and services, which will continue to be available following the move. Public consultation feedback: During the public consultation period we received 86 individual representations from customers and local representatives. We also met separately with Lindsay Hoyle MP and Chorley Borough Council. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to let us have their comments and provide information. All the feedback we received helped us to better understand the views of customers and their representatives and was taken into account along with all other relevant factors, when making our decision. The main areas of feedback were around car parking availability, particularly disabled parking and on market day; the size and capacity of proposed new premises to cope with additional customers and accessibility into and within the proposed new premises. Concern was also raised about the provision of a Post Office cash machine at the proposed new location and what would happen to the existing staff working in Chorley Crown Post Office. We were also asked whether we would consider an alternative branch location. Getting to the new location: With any relocation it is inevitable that whilst some customers will have an easier journey to the new location, regrettably others will have further to travel. We carefully considered factors such as the local terrain, parking or transport links when developing our proposal. We also took account of whether there were any particular local road traffic issues that may negatively impact accessibility. When considering the consultation feedback, we reviewed the suitability of the proposed new location. We recognise that as WHSmith is in a pedestrianised shopping area, there is no parking directly outside the store. However there are parking facilities in the surrounding area. The nearest car park is the Flat Iron Pay and Display car park on Union Street at 120 metres away. We acknowledge that the regular, weekly outdoor market is also held there on Tuesdays and that this does impact public parking. However Chorley Post Office is open until 17:30 six days a week, which does provide customers with flexibility around their visits.
There are three Blue Badge parking spaces on Chapel Street, approx. 95 metres from WHSmith. People can also continue to use the existing parking outside of the current branch, 160 metres away on Cleveland Street, where there are seven Blue Badge spaces. There is also a small, free car park on the opposite side of the road. West Street Car Park on Devonshire Road (accessed from both Devonshire Road and Gillibrand Street) is approx. 350m from the proposed branch. This has over 100 spaces, including five disabled bays. Chorley railway station car park is approx. 280 metres away, with over 100 spaces including designated disabled bays. Customers may also be interested to know that Chorley Shopmobility is based at the Flat Iron car park (on the Clifford Street side), providing wheelchairs/electric scooters to enable people with mobility problems to get around the local shops and services. More information is available at nfsuk.org We are aware of a proposal to temporarily close the Flat Iron car park during the Market Walk Shopping Centre redevelopment. As yet there are no confirmed dates for these works to start but it would be usual for a Council to provide local information before work commenced. In conclusion, we remain satisfied that customers in Chorley will continue to have good access to Post Office services. However we know that parking close by is important for many disabled people and we’ll also be contacting the Borough Council prior to the move, to see if consideration can be given to providing a safe drop off/pick up point any nearer to the WHSmith store. What the new Crown branch will look like: We know that the Post Office plays an important part in the lives of customers, including our elderly and disabled customers. We have a long and successful relationship with WHSmith and we’ll be working together to provide a new, modern Crown Post Office with sufficient room for both Post Office and shop customers. Customer access both into and within the premises will meet our stringent accessibility standards and all applicable legislation. To make sure there is sufficient space for Post Office customers, including wheelchair users, to move around the store and reach the new Crown Post Office at the rear without hindrance, the entrance area and shopping aisles will be kept free of obstructions. Some customers told us that the doors weren’t always working and that one was obstructed by retail goods. WHSmith has confirmed that there was a problem with the automatic doors and they were replaced several months ago. They are not aware of further problems but if there were to be, they would be repaired as quickly as possible. Both doorways are kept clear and this would continue to be the case following the move. Externally the store front will include Post Office signage, as well as a service menu and opening hours board. Full posting facilities will be available in branch and the existing street post boxes near to the existing branch, including the one for franked mail, will remain where they currently are. There is level access into the premises and there are automatic and manual entrance doors. There will be directional signage from the entrance door, leading customers through to the new Post Office area. The Post Office counter will be built to Post Office specifications and will include lighting to industry standards, low level counters, PIN pads and hearing loops. There will be space for people to wait for service and customer seating will also be provided.
The number of serving positions is based on current and future predicted business levels and the new branch will have one traditional style, floor to ceiling screened serving position and three open plan positions. Open plan serving positions are successfully used across our Post Office network, as an alternative to the more traditional style positions. There is still a partitioned screen but this is lower, helping to provide for a more personal service and discreet conversations when needed. There will also be two self-service kiosks for mails transactions, including home shopping returns, as well as E Top-Ups and a range of bill payments without having to queue at the counter. I’m satisfied that customer needs will continue to be met but as with all of our branches, we will monitor customer usage to make sure service standards are maintained. Access to Post Office services and products: The same wide range of Post Office services will continue to be available. It is also our intention to transfer the external cash machine but as this is subject to survey and planning permission and we are unable to confirm this, at this time. The nearest alternative external Post Office cash machine is at Devonshire Road Post Office, 47 Devonshire Road, PR7 2DR. There is road parking outside and is approx. 0.5 miles from the existing branch. As this is a relocation of the Crown office the existing staff will move to the new location and continue to serve the customers of Chorley. No job losses or staff redundancies will be made as a result of this relocation. Further details of the new branch are provided in the enclosed information sheet. Conclusion: After careful consideration of the feedback received, we believe moving Chorley Crown office in to a premises of a partner is both beneficial to customers and Post Office Limited. We have a long standing relationship with WHSmith High Street Ltd and I am satisfied the new Crown branch will be suitably located. I believe this change will help to provide future sustainability for the branch and maintain a Crown Post Office presence in Chorley. The current branch will close at 17:30 on August 24th, with the new branch opening at 09:00 on August 25th. You can also find a copy of this letter on our website at postofficeviews.co.uk. When entering the website you will be asked to enter the code for this branch: 013427. Yours faithfully
Roger Gale General Manager – Crown and WHSmith Network
How to contact us:
This communication process has been agreed with the independent statutory consumer watchdog, which in Great Britain is Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland, and in Northern Ireland, the Consumer Council, and is being carried out in line with our Code of Practice for changes to the Post Office network, which we have agreed with them. If you’d like copies of the Code they are available in branch, by contacting us or on our website – postofficeviews.co.uk. If you think that the process has not been properly followed and wish to make a complaint, then please write to us or email us via the contact details included in our posters and letters and let us know why. We’ll examine your complaint and respond to you as soon as we can. We will provide you with the relevant contact points for the consumer watchdog, so if you are still not satisfied when you have received our response, you can ask them for their assistance.
To get this information in larger print, audio or braille, please contact the customer helpline on 03457 22 33 44 or text phone 03457 22 33 55.
Chorley Crown Post Office information sheet Address
Products & Services
WHSmith 6-8 New Market Street Chorley PR7 1BY
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
09:00 – 17:30 09:30 – 17:30 09:00 – 17:30 09:00 – 17:30 09:00 – 17:30 09:00 – 17:30 Closed
The same wide range of products and services will still be available. For reasons outside Post Office Limited's control, we cannot yet confirm whether or not a cash machine will be available at the new branch. The provision of a cash machine is subject to a survey by our cash machine provider and relevant planning permission.
There will be four counter serving positions; three open plan and one screened.
Two self-service kiosks for mails transactions including home shopping returns, E Top-Ups, and a range of bill payments.
Access & facilities
Access into the WHSmith store is level with an automatic entrance door. Low level serving counters, a low level writing desk and hearing loops will be available.
How far away is it?
Approx. 160 metres away from the current branch, along level terrain.
Transport & parking
Parking Flat Iron Pay and Display car park on Union Street with 364 spaces and 20 Blue Badge bays approx. 120 metres. Blue Badge parking spaces on Chapel Street approx. 95 meters away and on Cleveland Street approx. 160 metres. West Street car park, including Blue Badge spaces, approx. 350 metres. Station car park, including Blue Badge spaces, approx. 280 metres. Buses As the new Post Office would be located close by, customers can still use the same bus services.
Date of move
August 25th 2016