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Another post office set to be shut down; ROYAL MAIL SAYS CLOSURE WILL HELP TO PROTECT OTHER OFFICES.

Byline: CATHERINE TURNELL

COVENTRY'S Kenpas post office is the latest on a city hitlist of branches marked for closure.

Sub-postmistress Jaswinder Dhaliwal, who has been there for 12 years, put up a notice this week at the Leasowes Avenue shop.

She declined to talk to the Evening Telegraph - but did say it was not yet certain the post office would close.

However, the Royal Mail has confirmed the branch will close in April when Ms Dhaliwal leaves.

Royal Mail officials say Kenpas post office must close to ensure the viability of other branches in the area, but added that customers' views would be sought.

The news has angered regular customers, who have been told their alternative is to use the branch on Green Lane, about a mile away.

Pensioner Jean Hale, aged 75, has been a customer at Kenpas post office since it opened.

"I've lived on this estate all my life and we've always had a post office, and there's an awful lot of elderly people that live in this area," she said yesterday.

"If I have money paid in to the bank, my nearest is Cheylesmore, and normally I pay all my bills at the post office.

"One thing this letter says is there's adequate parking at the bottom of Green Lane. They're putting in a safer route to schools double yellow lines there - the school's exactly opposite - so there'll be no parking. It's absolutely ludicrous."

One customer in the shop, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "You should have been here Monday. It was pension day. They were not happy about it."

Paul Maisey, of the Royal Mail, said: "We have concluded that if Kenpas post office branch were to close, it would improve the long-term prospects of the other branches in the area.

"In particular, we have made sure the Green Lane branch, at 369 Green Lane, will be able to cope with extra customers should the closure go ahead."

The potential death-knell for Kenpas was sounded as the Royal Mail confirmed Earlsdon's Broomfield Road post office would close next month, customers are being advised to use the branch at Earlsdon Street, half a mile away.

The closures are part of the Post Office's modernisation programme. Over the past six months, Coventry has lost Hillmorton Road post office, in Wood End, with branches in Whitley and Paradise also marked for closure.

Customers have until February 28 to contact the National Consultation Team, PO Box 641, St Albans, AL1 5XN, with their views on the closure threat.

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GOING: Kenpas sub-post office, which Royal Mail says will close in April
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 6, 2003
Words:434
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