Calls have been made for the Post Office to restore full services to an Aberdeenshire town after it closed one of its branches earlier this month due to staffing issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
At the start of April the post office in the Keystores shop on Stonehaven’s Allardice Street shut, leaving residents of the seaside community with access to only one local post office, the smaller Arduthie branch inside the Co-op shop and petrol station on Kirkton Road.
As a result, Stonehaven residents living closer to the seaside have been faced with a lengthy journey up a steep hill to access the sub post office, or travelling miles to Portlethen or Inverbervie to access their post offices, which offer a wider range of services.
Stonehaven councillors Sarah Dickinson and Dennis Robertson have now written to Post Office Ltd making the case for bringing back full post office services in Stonehaven.
Ms Dickinson said: “The Arduthrie Post Office do a great job but do not offer the full range of services – for that we now have to go nine miles north to Portlethen, or 10 miles south to Bervie, although Bervie does not do passports.
“And for anyone living in the lower part of the town who may have mobility issues and no car, getting up the hill to the post office now requires the need to take a bus.”
Mr Robertson added: “We’ve got an older population within the lower end of Stonehaven, including three sheltered housing complexes, so to expect them to use a post office service that’s such a distance away is quite unreasonable.
“We’re hoping people in the local area make their views known about this with the Post Office and hopefully that could make a difference.”
A Post Office spokeswoman said: “Stonehaven Post Office is temporarily closed due to staffing issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, including underlying health concerns.
“It is not known at this stage when this branch will re-open.
“In the interim, an alternative post office is Arthduthie.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this temporary closure as we know how important post offices are to communities.
“Post offices are designated as an essential retailer by the UK Government.”