IT WILL be last post for customers at the Regent Centre tomorrow (Saturday) as the Post Office in RS McColls closes its doors at 12.30pm.
Post Office services will now be available at a temporary mobile van parked in the Water Yett car park while work is finished at the new Post Office on 266 High Street, the premises formerly occupied by Elle, due to open on Monday, September 24.
The mobile service will be open from 9.30am-5.30pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am-12.30pm on Saturday offering the same service.
The Post Office decision to move out of the Regent Centre was only arrived at last Friday when it was unable to extend its lease with RS McColls.
PO spokesman Kenny Lamont said: “Our priority is to safeguard Post Office services for the local community in the longer term and we believe the new location for Linlithgow is the best way forward if we are to secure continued access to Post Office services locally.”
He added the new premises would be modern and open plan, with longer opening hours Monday to Saturday from 9am-5.30pm and offering the same range of services currently available at Linlithgow Post Office. The shop will also sell cards, gifts and stationery.
A temporary ramp and bell will be at the entrance and a permanent ramp is planned.
Inside there will be a low level serving counter and space for a wheelchair.
The new Post Office will be run by Jackie Longstaff, sub-postmistress at Bo’ness Post Office on East Pier Street, and she will lease 266 High Street from the property’s owners West Lothian Council. Current staff have been offered jobs at the new location.
Council leader John McGinty said: “The council has played an important part in working alongside the Post Office to ensure that a temporary mobile Post Office counter can be located at the Water Yett car park until the permanent branch at 266 High Street has been fitted out and is ready for operational use.
“If both the Post Office and the council hadn’t acted so swiftly there’s a strong chance that local people would have had to travel outwith Linlithgow to access frontline postal services.”
He added that the council was doing everything it could to make sure 266 High Street opened as soon as possible.
The mobile Post Office unit will be delivered to the Water Yett each morning and taken away in the evening, sectioned off in an area no bigger than three parking spaces.
But some local residents are angered that public consultation on the move only began on Tuesday, after decisions had been made.
Nick Davis, secretary of Linlithgow Community Council, said: “The community council welcomes improvements in the town for the residents.
‘‘However the lack of forward consultation on a done deal is very alarming.
‘‘It’s our understanding that the temporary facility in the Water Yett car park could exist for some time as the refurbishment of the proposed permanent facility may take time to complete.”
Mr Lamont, network services area manager for Scotland, admitted the consultation had started after the decision to move had been made but views on the service would still be still welcomed, he said.
Final plans will be confirmed after the consultation ends on Tuesday, October 23.