Post Of­fice prob­lems rip­ple out across Lochaber

The Oban Times - - Lochaber Times -

PROB­LEMS with a Fort Wil­liam Post Of­fice are more far reach­ing than first thought.

In­ver­lochy’s Post Of­fice closed tem­po­rar­ily on Jan­uary 10 for ‘op­er­a­tional rea­sons’ as re­ported by The Oban Times ear­lier this year. It has now come to light that ser­vices at Glen­coe and Roy Bridge, which were op­er­ated by the In­ver­lochy post­mas­ter, also ceased op­er­at­ing on Jan­uary 10.

Michael Tonks is the care­taker of Roy Bridge Vil­lage Hall, where the host post ser­vice had been op­er­at­ing from. He de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion as a nui­sance per­son­ally and a headache com­mer­cially. The 76-year- old told the Lochaber

Times: ‘The near­est ser­vice to me now is in Spean Bridge but I don’t like do­ing bank­ing there be­cause it is a busy shop so that means we have to drive into Fort Wil­liam. The com­mu­nity coun­cil re­ceived a let­ter dated March 27 from Post Of­fice say­ing the ser­vice closed tem­po­rar­ily on Jan­uary 10, which is quite com­i­cal re­ally. The cable for where the post­mas­ter used to con­nect to the postal ser­vice is still in the hall but we don’t know what to do. Should we rent it out or wait for them to come back? At the mo­ment the hall is los­ing money and the build­ing is sit­ting idle, which is far from ideal.’

David Gil­lies says his 94-year- old mother who stays in In­ver­lochy is for­tu­nate be­cause fam­ily can drive her into Fort Wil­liam Post Of­fice.

‘In­stead of my brother’s part­ner just tak­ing mum to Caol ev­ery Thurs­day, she now stops off in Fort Wil­liam as well. But there must be so many other pen­sion­ers in the area who need to get their pen­sion or ac­cess an­other ser­vice who don’t have any­one to run them around.’

Mr Gil­lies said he is amazed more peo­ple have not spo­ken out about the sit­u­a­tion. He added: ‘The Post Of­fice might say they are work­ing hard but you can’t tell peo­ple the ser­vice is clos­ing tem­po­rar­ily and then go AWOL for four months.’

A Post Of­fice spokesper­son added: ‘We would like to re­as­sure cus­tomers that we con­tinue to work hard to re­store the ser­vices to the com­mu­ni­ties as soon as pos­si­ble and are com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing ser­vices in the area. In the mean­time, cus­tomers can ac­cess Post Of­fice ser­vices at Fort Wil­liam Post Of­fice and Caol Post Of­fice.’

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