A lifeline has been delivered for residents in the Ortons with a new Post Office branch due to open.
The branch will begin delivering services on Wednesday, March 6 at Londis in the Matley Centre, Orton Brimbles.
It follows last week’s closure of a Post Office at McColl’s in the Ortongate Shopping Centre, while residents have also seen the Orton Malborne Post Office at Herlington disappear last July.
The McColl’s closure was described as a “hideous nightmare” by Green city councillor Julie Howell.
Reacting to news of the Londis opening, she said: “The news that a Post Office counter will open inside Londis in Matley in Orton Brimbles will come as a relief to many local residents who rely on a Post Office for many everyday tasks, from banking and paying bills to keeping in touch.
“I’m sure many local small business owners will be relieved to know that at least some of the Post Office services they rely on will be available at the new premises.
“However, while Matley is just a two minute bus ride from Ortongate I’m sure there are many who will continue to lament the loss of the Post Office from the main shopping centre.”
The closure at McColl’s came as a shock as it had been expected services would transfer to QD Stores, which is also in the shopping centre.
However, contract talks between the two sides broke down.
McColl’s said three members of staff would be “impacted” by the closure, but did not elaborate. The Peterborough Telegraph understands there have been redundancies.
The Post Office said the new branch in Londis is separate to the McColl’s closure and that it hopes to provide a new branch in that location.
Owner of the Londis store Subramaniam Nithythasan and Subramaniam Nithaharan said they had been concerned about the loss of services in the Ortons.
They added: “We hope to help all those in need of a Post Office in our area.
“We aim to overcome the challenge of running a Post Office and provide you with the best services we can.
“We are scheduled to open in March this year and will be of service from then on to the community.”
QD Stores said it had been unable to agree a contract with the Post Office for a branch in its premises “on terms that suit them and which are commercially viable for us”.
A spokesperson for the Post Office apologised for the “temporary break in service” and said the arrangements it had in place with the budget retailer “had changed.”