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Long waiting times for Muswell Hill post office

PUBLISHED: 11:07 06 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:54 07 September 2010

Robyn Rosen WAITING times at the Muswell Hill post office are some of the highest in the borough, according to a new survey. Customers wait up to 50 minutes to be seen by staff in Muswell Hill, the second highest waiting time after Wood Green, where custo

Robyn Rosen

WAITING times at the Muswell Hill post office are some of the highest in the borough, according to a new survey.

Customers wait up to 50 minutes to be seen by staff in Muswell Hill, the second highest waiting time after Wood Green, where customers queue for up to an hour.

In a national survey, it was found that on average customers had to wait about four minutes, in queues averaging seven.

But Post Office chiefs have reassured residents that more staff and chairs will be available when Muswell Hill and Wood Green post offices are refurbished this summer.

The survey, conducted by Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone, found that residents have to queue for an average of 12 minutes at post offices around Haringey.

But Muswell Hill residents had to wait an average of 18 minutes before being served, with queues of more than 20 people.

The survey comes after post offices in Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Highgate were forced to close last July.

Ms Featherstone, who presented the results of the survey to Post Office director of sales Richard Barker last Thursday, said: "We already knew that waiting times at the post offices had risen as a result of last summer's closures, but it was very useful to be able to present the Post Office manager with real numbers to show him just how bad it is.

"The other issue that was especially clear from the survey was that many elderly residents simply don't go to the post office, as they can't sit down to queue. I will certainly hold Mr Barker to his promise to deliver those chairs.

"I'm not going to give up here - the fight for more local post offices continues."

John Hajdu, chairman of the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association, said: "We knew when the Alexandra Park post office was closed that there would be a problem in Muswell Hill.

"Even before it closed, the Muswell Hill post office was very busy and people had to queue in the street. Now it's difficult for the staff because tempers flare and people, especially older people, have to queue out on the street or have to come back later.

"The situation is unacceptable and we want our post office back in Alexandra Park."

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: "We are constantly monitoring all aspects of our customer service with an aim to improving service levels, and will of course be reviewing the results of this survey.

"Regarding the post offices in Muswell Hill and Wood Green, these branches will be refurbished this summer to offer a new and improved queuing system and enhanced customer service for everyone visiting these branches.

"Both branches will remain open during the refurbishment to minimise disruption to customers."

Hornsey and Highgate Station performed the best, with a five and six minute waiting time respectively, well below the average of 12 minutes.

With the worst scores in the borough, Wood Green customers were forced to wait an average of 27 minutes with an average number of 30 people queuing, compared with the borough average of 11.

Crouch End and Topsfield Parade post offices hit the average mark with 11 minutes and 12 minutes waiting times respectively.

Hornsey and Highgate Station performed the best, with a five and six minute waiting time respectively.

With the worst scores in the borough, Wood Green customers were forced to wait an average of 27 minutes with an average number of 30 people queuing.

Crouch End and Topsfield Parade post offices hit the average mark with 11 minutes and 12 minutes waiting times respectively.


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