OAPs criticise plans to close Dagenham post office

� Pensioners have attacked plans to close their post office in Dagenham.

The branch has provided a valued service in Rainham Road South for more than three decades.

More than 400 loyal customers signed a petition to stop the closure last week.

Royal Mail unveiled plans to move the post office into a Londis supermarket 500 yards away as early as June, after a contract with postmistress Farazana Bahati ran out.

‘It’s too much’

But Michael Beckett, 70, who has difficulty walking, said: “We just don’t want to go to Londis. It is four streets away from the bus stop and then you’ve got to get back again. When you’re a pensioner and you’re disabled it’s hard to go that far.”

Antoine Allet, 73, added: “It’s bad. This post office has been here since I moved in 1973. It’s going to be very inconvenient.”

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Post office owner Ahmad Khan, 60, said: “I have spent �100,000 and my goodwill on the post office. This is my business and my life. The community get a very good service.”

Post office clerk Baharat Patel, 59, said: “A lot of customers don’t like it. I’m probably going to lose my job.”

Royal Mail is consulting on plans until June 8 and will make a final decision two weeks later. A spokeswoman said: “The branch has been run by a temporary sub-postmaster. Whilst we are grateful for the service, it has always been our intention to identify a permanent solution.”

Royal Mail said the success of the Londis branch, also in Rainham Road South, would be assessed over 12 months.

n Take part in the consultation, by emailing consultation@postoffice.co.uk, write to Post Office Ltd, c/o National Consultation Team, PO Box 2060, Watford, WD18 8ZW.