LONGER opening hours are just one of the benefits in store for customers if a proposal to move Purton Post Office goes ahead.

The Post Office is asking customers what they think about its proposal to move the branch from its current location in the High Street to Harford House Stores (Best One), in Station Road.

The branch, which would be modern and open-plan, would be open an extra 71 hours a week.

The Post Office’s regional network manager for Wales and South West, Tony Jones, said: “We understand how important having a post office is to residents in Purton and we are confident that this new, modern branch will make it easier for our customers to do business with us and also secure services for the future.

“The proposed changes to the branch are part of a three-year investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, that will see about 6,000 branches, which is about half the whole Post Office network, converting to the new-style branches.

“The investment marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”

The Post Office is inviting people in and around Purton to give their comments on the move before April 12.

Opening hours at the proposed new location will be Monday to Sunday 6am to 9.30pm.

This would offer customers an extra 71 hours a week to access Post Office products and services.

The extra hours would include Wednesday and Saturday afternoons, all day Sunday and significantly earlier opening hours and closing times every day. Lunchtime closing would also end.

Post Office local is a new concept for delivering Post Office services from an open plan counter with Post Office products and services available alongside retail transactions during shop opening hours, allowing Post Office services to be available for longer.

The applicant is currently going through the planning permission process to install a ramp at the premises to provide easier access.

The Post Office, now independent of Royal Mail, is the largest retail network in the UK, with more than 11,500 branches.

During the public consultation, Post Office Ltd is welcoming feedback before a final decision is taken.

Submissions can be made by Freepost Your Comments to Post Office Ltd, or by email to comments@postoffice.co.uk. You can also use the Customer Helpline, 08457 22 33 44, or Textphone 08457 22 33 55.