Is this the end for Knaresborough’s sorting office?

6/3/13  Knaresborough Sorting Office on Stockwell Road.
6/3/13 Knaresborough Sorting Office on Stockwell Road.

The future of Knaresborough’s postal sorting office is under threat after the Royal Mail confirmed the Stockwell Road site is “under review”.

The office, which employs 30 people, could be merged with the Harrogate sorting office if plans being considered by the Royal Mail go ahead.

The move could see Knaresborough residents forced to travel to Harrogate to collect post and parcels, and staff face an uncertain future despite assurances of no job losses.

The Royal Mail have blamed a change in the postal habits for the proposals.

Delivery director Steve McGuinness said: “Royal Mail is investigating if we could relocate Knaresborough operations within our site at Harrogate delivery office. Faced with declining letter volumes and increasing parcel volumes, Royal Mail must constantly review how it manages its operations.”

The proposals are part of wider reviews across the country, but the final decision on Knaresborough’s future will not be made until later this year, he added.

But Knaresborough’s MP Andrew Jones has spoken out against the plans.

He said: “I want to see a thriving Post Office, easily accessible to customers. The Post Office is a critical part of our local services. I am concerned that this proposal could lead to job losses and a poorer service for customers and have sought reassurance from the Post Office that this will not be the case.”

Keith Blackburn, the Communication Workers’ Union York area branch secretary, said he first heard about the scheme around a week ago.

He said: “The CWU is aware of the Royal Mail’s plans for the proposed merger of Knaresborough delivery office with the Harrogate delivery office. We will consult with members in the affected offices before deciding what course of action to take.”

However, a Royal Mail spokesman has insisted services to Knaresborough homes and businesses will not change, and jobs will not be lost as it is expected workers will move into the Harrogate base.

The spokesman said: “We will always provide a consistent and high quality service to our customers in Knaresborough.”