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Third time lucky

Local News, Moans

After their previous attempts to close the Whitchurch sorting office Adam Crozier and his cabal of money grabbing bastards have finally achieved it. And showing that I’m not cynical enough they laid the foundations with their failed 2005 bid to close it.

It’s clear now that they decided in 2005 to close the office, and were never going to change their minds, just delay it until the anger had diminished1. In 2005 they sold the building, to emphasise – THEY SOLD THE BUILDING, and leased it out after that for £10,000 a year. How the hell does that make sense? It doesn’t, it was merely a way to justify an economic case in the future.

They’re also still claiming the one large truck taken off the road will save money compared to small trucks going to Basingstoke and back, I find it hard to believe, if it was cheaper they’d already be doing it, but they’re not.

Still the ‘good’ news is that they’re waiving the 50p charge to collect anything from the Post Office. So lets look at why that’s a shit idea from someone who’s clearly an out-of-towner. First the obvious bits.

  • You have to phone before 5pm to arrange a redelivery, so you won’t be able to sort it out when you get back from work, it’ll have to be the next morning
  • And by the next morning you wont be able to re-arrange the delivery for that day, so it would have to be the day after
  • Or you can arrange for the post office collection, which has the same problem as above, but you can’t collect until after midday

So these are the obvious issues everyone faces, now the Whitchurch-centric bits. One of the great things with the sorting office were the opening times, from 6:30 to 12:30 (IIRC). So although you couldn’t get get them after work, you could go down in the morning or go for lunch at 12 and walk quickly down the town. At least you had those choices. The Post Office opens somewhen, I’m not sure exactly and neither are the Royal Mail. The times are not on their website, but I’m pretty sure it’s 9-5. So you can’t go before or after work, but you might be able to get there at lunch. If there isn’t a queue, which there always is because it’s a Post Office, not a sorting office.

Except it isn’t a Post Office, here’s the kicker, it’s a fucking cupboard in the back of a fucking Tesco express. At the moment there’s barely enough room for the 2 members of staff, the stuff they need in there and the post to go out. They won’t have a change of fitting in even 10% of the deliveries that come from the sorting office. So how will they inform you that the parcel you’ve arranged to collect after 12 isn’t there? Almost definitely by telling you it isn’t there after you’ve queued for ages to get it. And the queuing won’t be fun, there is only just room for a 1 person queue, any more than that and you get in someone’s way when they’re trying to shop. a 5 person queue fills up half an aisle and will piss off shoppers, post office users and most importantly Tesco.

I’m not taking bets on the Post Office being open in 3 years. It won’t be.

1 It’s the New Labour theory of anger if you fuck up often enough people will get tired of being angry at you (see: Iraq war, the Terrorism act, RIP act, Student fees, Peter Mandelson, more privatisation, special rendition, ID cards etc…)

Oh Doctor Beeching! You bastard

Local News, Moans

My constant annoyances with the Tory’s fucking up of the railway network in the 60s & 80s continues.

According to the Wikipedia page (admittedly not a great source) the West of England main line used to be double tracks but was reduced to single tracks in the 60s! Un-fucking-believable.

I can understand it would be a pain to expand them now if they’d always been single track, but what was the point of making the lines much worse? I wasted so many hours of my life due to that fucking stupidity. Bastards.

Royal Mail in bunch of wankers shocker!

Local News, Moans

They’re closing the Delivery Office in Whitchurch with all collections going to Basingstoke instead. Which is becoming a biennial spring event (they tried to close it April 05 and May 071), but this time they seem to mean it.

Obviously the biggest reason this is a bad idea is that will inconvenience me, but other people will be screwed over by it. There’s a high percentage of old people in Whitchurch, it’s not especially convenient for them to carry items from the Delivery Office up the hill or up Micheldever Road. So having to get the bus/train to Basingstoke, get another bus to the Hospital, walk to the Basingstoke Office, collect the item, then get back will be a massive inconvenience in time (it would take a minimum of 2 hours for a young person who lived next to the train station).

And the posties will have to do a 24 mile round trip to pick up the bags of mail to post (currently a postman drives a van with the bags to the other postie’s houses)2. Adding time and costs (there are allegedly going to be no job cuts, so the only cost saving is not turning on the heating and lights at the office.) to the delivery. And the parcels will be delivered in multiple small vans from Basingstoke, rather than a large van taking it to the Whitchurch office and small vans delivering from there. So there will be an extra cost to both the bottom line and the environment.

And on the subject of costs, this will add a huge cost to people who don’t get free bus passes (as well as the time mentioned earlier), either there’s 24 miles of fuel + wear & tear on the car. Or a minimum of £7.50 for people like me who have to use public transport. And public transport isn’t possible for larger objects which will require blagging a lift.

It’s a difficult pill to swallow when the Tories, sorry, New Labour are privatising a huge chunk to raise money, increasing the price of stamps, bullying workers for moving slower than Usain Bolt and cutting services (which is probably why Mum’s mothers day present took so long to arrive).

The solution to this and the Royal Mail’s other problems is probably having an actual left-wing party in power, but in the short term maybe I should cut out the middle man. Rather than buying stuff of amazon and having to spend time and money to get the stuff when I miss the delivery I should just buy in Basingstoke and carry the stuff home.

More Links

1 you know things are bad when I’m linking to a Tory website without making snarky remarks
2 and presumably there’d be a 24 mile round trip at the end of the day to return the empty bags to be refilled