REVEALED: the post offices facing the sack

THE vital Harrow Road post office looks set to be saved by Royal Mail, the Wood&Vale can reveal

Susanna Wilkey

THE vital Harrow Road post office looks set to be saved by Royal Mail, the Wood&Vale can reveal.

But three other branches - Lisson Grove, the sub post office in Harrow Road Bayswater and Formosa Street - have been earmarked for the chop.

Traders on the Harrow Road have been campaigning for months to save the Maida Hill branch. And the news is particularly welcome because Harrow Road's biggest shop, Shoe Express, has plans to quit the street.

Paul Walsh, owner of Four Corners Framing, said: "I am delighted- it is absolutely brilliant. It really would have been the end of business along here if the post office had gone. People would have gone to another office and then shopped there - it would have finished us, so this is a huge sigh of relief."

And Harrow Road Councillor Guthrie McKie said: "I would now like to see them improve the branch but I welcome the great news."

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But residents elsewhere are not so delighted. Margot Bright, from the Westbourne Park Villas residents association, said: "I am not happy to hear the Harrow Road (Bayswater) office could be closing - it serves a lot of people. I think an awful lot of the people who use that branch will be seriously inconvenienced by it closing.

"A lot of the people who use it are not terribly mobile either and it is a busy branch as far as I know."

Chairwoman of the St Marylebone Society, Gaby Higgs, said: "We would regret the loss of the Lisson Grove post office which many local residents rely on."

MP Karen Buck said: "Clearly it would be excellent news if the post office confirms its intention to maintain the Harrow Road post office which is both very well used and also an essential element of a healthy Harrow Road which supports a number of shops and businesses.

"It is fantastic news about Harrow Road but we will have to look at each of the others closely and their merits and address the issues."

A formal announcement on Tuesday will reveal which offices in London will be forced to close out of a total of 2,500 to be shut nationwide. Residents will have six weeks to respond to a consultation.

Cllr Tony Devenish, chairman of Westminster Council's dedicated Post Office task group, said: "We would be delighted if the Post Office and government have listened to people's concerns and the Harrow Road branch is saved.

"However, like everyone else we are awaiting the final outcome of the closure programme and we cannot predict what that might be."

A spokeswoman for Royal Mail today refused to discuss the tip-off given to the Wood&Vale.

She said:"We won't be confirming any lists until next Tuesday when we go public.