The proposed closure of Lupus Street Post Office will mean that, in addition to the loss of the post office service, hundreds of residents will lose the ability to pay their Council rent and Council Tax or renew their parking permits.
Last year, Westminster Council closed all of its One Stop offices and transferred all face-to-face financial transactions to Post Offices all over Westminster. There are currently about 500 Council-related cash transactions a month at Lupus Street Post Office and if the Post Office is closed then residents on the Churchill Gardens estate would lose their current service and would have no alternative but to walk for at least 20 minutes to the Vauxhall Bridge Road or Eccleston Street post offices to pay bills.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“The closure of Lupus Street Post Office would be a ‘double-whammy’ for local residents. Not only would they lose their post office but they would also lose a local office where they can make cash payments to the Council. This is particularly bad for the elderly and disabled and anyone who has difficulty walking long distances”
“Having closed all its One Stop offices and transferred everything to the Post Office the Council has a responsibility to ensure that residents continue to get the local service they were promised and can continue to make financial transaction in Lupus Street at the post office.”
“It looks like Westminster Council and the Post Office are in cahoots to deprive Churchill Gardens residents of decent local services. Is this what the Conservatives mean by “we’re all in this together”?
We want our bus stop back, say Churchill Gardens residents
The ‘West End Extra’ reports;
“A vital bus stop in the heart of Pimlico that was knocked down by a Tesco delivery lorry six months ago has still not been replaced.
Transport for London (TfL) want to replace the bus stop in Alderney Street – which is used by elderly residents from the nearby Churchill Gardens Estate each day – more than 50 metres down the road when they install it later this year.
Residents of the estate are opposed to the move and believe they have been ignored in favour of big business. Sue Walsh, chairwoman of Churchill Gardens Residents’ Association, said: “It just seems like big business have knocked it down and thought, ‘right, that’s it, we’ve got our own way’, and it’s not going back there and it’s not fair.
“They shouldn’t just be allowed to knock it down and have it put somewhere else just because that’s where their lorries like to park.”
The bus stop was hit by a van delivering to Tesco on Lupus Street in December.
Ms Walsh said: “About an hour later a van from TfL pulled up, straightened all the pavement out, took the bus stop away and that was it.”
TfL said they decided to move the bus stop on “safety grounds” following “repeated damage”, but residents are adamant this was the first accident. They have raised concerns about the safety of the new site due to a lack of lighting.
Ms Walsh said: “They are planning to put it down the road by Pimlico Primary School, but it’s very dark there at night and it isn’t suitable for an elderly people. When you get off late at night at the old stop, Tesco is very well lit and there’s a security guard there, so there’s an element of safety as well.”
Local businesses say they have lost out on trade as less people have walked past their stores since the bus stop was removed.
Churchill Gardens resident Murad Gassanly said: “The small businesses in Lupus Street are losing passing trade from the passengers alighting from the buses. They say that if people alight further up the road they do not bother to walk back on themselves to the shops.”
Darren Canty, infrastructure controller for London Buses, said: “Following repeated damage to the Alderney Street bus stop a decision was taken, on safety grounds, to move it.
“The previous location did not have a designated space to allow the bus to stop. This meant that other vehicles could park close to the bus stop preventing the bus from pulling in close to the curb, allowing passengers to alight safely. This was of particular concern for passengers with limited mobility or using a wheelchair.
“We worked with Westminster Council to find a more suitable location for the bus stop around 50 metres east on Lupus Street where designated road markings could be introduced to improve both bus and passenger accessibility. The introduction of the new bus stop is currently subject to a public consultation. We hope to introduce the new bus stop in the next few months.”
A spokesman for Tesco said they would not comment on the bus stop.