Residents on march in bid to save Formosa Street post office
By Susanna Wilkey THE PETITION to save the Formosa Street post office has quickly gathered pace this week with more than 1,300 signatures from Maida Vale residents. Another 700 residents have signed the petition to save the Westbourne Harrow Road branch i
By Susanna Wilkey
THE PETITION to save the Formosa Street post office has quickly gathered pace this week with more than 1,300 signatures from Maida Vale residents.
Another 700 residents have signed the petition to save the Westbourne Harrow Road branch in a bid to keep the vital services in the area.
Staff at a hairdressers' shop in Lisson Grove are also organising a petition to save the branch on the high street - which campaigners say is extremely well used.
Residents and post office users in Maida Vale plan to march from the Formosa Street branch to the St John's Wood post office tomorrow to show how hard the journey is - especially for older people.
Dubbed the "Post Office Olympics" organisers hope hundreds will turn out in protest at the threatened closure of the last remaining branch in Maida Vale.
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Everyone is hoping local celebrities Tony Robinson and Paul Weller will join the cause and march in protest.
Resident and former deputy chairman of the post office Sam Wainwright said: "We are having the march at 2.30pm and everyone we have asked so far says it is a great idea.
"It is really hard to use the other branches they suggest - and this march will show how hard it is to get to St John's Wood.
"They say that Queensway is along mainly level terrain but it is not - you have to go up steep steps to cross the canal bridge and down steps to go through the underpass under Harrow Road, which is not very well lit.
"I tried to walk there this week, but I had to get a taxi back or I wouldn't have made it - it was too far and too difficult."
Elizabeth Virgo, from the Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society, has been gathering signatures on Formosa Street this week which she hopes to present to the post office.
Campaigners claim Post Office Ltd bosses said they would not close the Formosa Street when the Clifton Road branch was shut two years ago. They say the branch is profitable, serves a large population and Post Office Ltd's alternatives are too far away.
Jemima Slade, of Golds Hair Studio on Bell Street, is organising the petition to save the post office on Lisson Grove.
She said: "It will be very inconvenient if the branch closes. A lot of older people use it and they cannot walk to Edgware Road - which is always really busy.
"There are lots of businesses in this area which use the branch - including the people from BNP so why do they want to close it? It is extremely well used and there are always queues out the door in the morning."
MP Karen Buck said: "The Formosa Street post office campaigners have been doing a fantastic job demonstrating the strength of feeling in the area.
"I really do hope that we will be able to save this post office because I am convinced that Post Office Ltd has not applied the access criteria to alternative services as they should have."