Two stages of work now planned for refurbishment of London Road Post Office into open-plan style

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Two stages of refurbishment are now planned for London Road Post Office as it is about to be transformed into a new open-plan branch.

The Post Office is modernising the Post Officeinto a new main-style branch with extended opening hours.

To limit the time that the branch is closed to the public a different approach to the refurbishment has been announced.

The work will be done in two phases due to the size and complexity of the transformation.

Phase one will involve the closure of the branch on Monday, February 3 at 5.30pm and the branch will reopen on Friday, February 7 at 1pm. During this phase the two screened counters will be moved to their new position at the rear of the store.

During phase two of the regeneration of the remainder of the store, there will be no need for the branch to close as it can be sectioned off to allow customers to safely reach the Post Office at the rear.

This work is likely to take place on March 17 and 18. A combi counter will be installed at the new retail till which will allow customers to do Post Office and retail transactions at one counter.

These changes are being carried out as part of Post Office plans to modernise the network and extend opening hours.

The branch will open from 8am until 8pm Monday to Saturday and noon until 8pm on Sunday. This will be an extra 33.5 hours a week including opening earlier and closing significantly later and trading on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening. These extended hours will start after the second phase of the refurbishment.

Post Office regional network manager for England south, Will Russell said: “We understand how important the Post Office is to residents in this area of Bedford and we are confident that this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.”

He added: “This modernisation is part of a three-year investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, that will see around half of the Post Office network converting to new-style branches and marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”

The Post Office, now independent of Royal Mail, is the largest retail network in the UK, with over 11,500 branches. It is also one of the UK’s fastest growing financial services companies and is developing its online and telephone services.

During the closure customers will find their nearest alternative Post Offices are Kempston Post Office, 46 St John Street, Bedford, MK42 8EP St Mary’s Street Post Office, 12 St Mary’s Street, Bedford, MK42 0AS.