Swiss Cottage Post Office will move to WH Smiths next year

Protesters striking outside Swiss Cottage Post Office

Protesters striking outside Swiss Cottage Post Office - Credit: Archant

Protesters against the closure of Swiss Cottage Post Office have slammed plans to move the branch into a WH Smiths, saying it will be too small.

The post office in Finchley Road is one of 16 main branches across the UK that will be relocated to WH Smiths in March 2014.

All eight members of staff at the Finchley Road office, who have a combined total of 185 years of experience, have declined to transfer to the franchised branch, also in Finchley Road, according to spokesperson Gary Watt of the Communication Workers Union.

He said: “The Swiss Cottage WH Smiths is not a very big branch and there is not a lot of space in there for the customers.

“A report published by Consumer Futures, an independent watchdog, shows that waiting times are higher than in Crown offices.

“We are concerned about the level of service and quality of service that customers will get.”

A six-week public consultation on the proposed move began on Monday and will run until November 25.

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Staff members at all Crown offices earmarked for closure have been offered voluntary redundancy, a transfer to the franchised branch or a transfer to another Post Office.

A Post Office spokesperson said: “We must change the way Swiss Cottage Crown Post Office branch operates to ensure its long term viability and to maintain services for people in the area.

“The Swiss Cottage branch is loss making and it is not sustainable.

“Any new branch operating from a retail premises will offer access to the wide range of Post Office products including travel, financial and mail services.

“Post Office research shows that customer satisfaction levels are just as high for customers visiting franchise branches as those who access Post Office services via the crown network.”