Villagers lose fight to save post office

PUBLISHED: 10:13 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:56 11 May 2010

THRIPLOW postmistress Helen Harbud.

THRIPLOW postmistress Helen Harbud.

THRIPLOW post office is to close despite a valiant campaign from villagers to save it. Post Office Ltd announced this week that the Thriplow office will close, along with the branch at Cottered Village Hall and the office in Cambridge Road, Hitchin. Thri

THRIPLOW post office is to close despite a valiant campaign from villagers to save it.

Post Office Ltd announced this week that the Thriplow office will close, along with the branch at Cottered Village Hall and the office in Cambridge Road, Hitchin.

Thriplow postmistress Helen Harbud said: "We had a very good campaign, and when you've done your best for something it's frustrating when it doesn't go your way.

"You get the impression that possibly decisions had already been made and there was nothing we could do about it."

A group of Thriplow residents, headed by parish councillor Kevin Clark, gave a presentation to a representative from the Post Office last month, highlighting the reasons they believed it was vital to keep a post office in the village.

These included the difficulty in getting to the next nearest office, in Fowlmere, using public transport, as only one bus a day travels between the villages.

However, it was not enough to save the post office, which will now close its doors for the last time on January 14.

It had been feared that the village store, which also operates from the site would have to close as well.

But Helen is hoping this will be able to remain open.

"Although we will not have the postmistress subsidy now, we will have to focus all our efforts on keeping the shop going so that the village will not lose another facility," she said.

"At least I will have more time to put into the shop once the post office is gone."

Post Office Ltd said in a statement that the decision to close the Thriplow office was taken because of the "relatively low" customer numbers at the branch.

Although it noted that there are no suitable bus services running from Thriplow, to Fowlmere and Foxton, it said there was a bus service between the village and Cambridge, where post office facilities could be accessed.

South Cambridgeshire MP Andrew Lansley expressed his "great disappointment" at the news.

He said: "The post office provided an invaluable service to all the residents of Thriplow, and its closure will be particularly hard to bear for those elderly residents with no private means of transport.

"Thriplow put forward a very powerful argument to keep its post office. I have to ask: what more could we have done?

"Post offices are at the centre of many rural communities in South Cambridgeshire, and Thriplow's was exemplary of this, serving not only elderly residents, but the local primary school, families, and local businesses, as well as a number of worthwhile charities.

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