New Wetley Rocks Post Office set to be based in petrol station
VILLAGERS could soon see the return of their post office after plans were unveiled to open a new service inside a petrol station shop.
The Post Office wants to re-introduce services in Wetley Rocks after the village's branch in Meadow Avenue closed in November 2011.
Under the plans, the company will create a Post Office Local at the 24-hour Wetley Rocks Filling Station and Londis supermarket.
It means residents, who have had to travel to Hanley or Leek for postal services over the last eight months, will be able to make payments, post letters and buy foreign currency.
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Post Office Local sees traditional counters replaced by a hybrid till service where staff in shops and petrol stations juggle mail and bill payments alongside baskets of groceries.
It means the Post Office's service would be available while the shop is open from 6am until 10pm.
Post Office spokesman, Zoe Hibberd, said: "We are committed to maintaining and improving our branches, including offering extended opening hours for customers.
"As well as investing in our branches we are also committed to maintaining the branch network at its current size, recognising the major social value that Post Office branches provide to communities such as Wetley Rocks."
She added: "We are very pleased to announce that we have the opportunity to offer a Post Office local service at the filling station where customers will benefit from improved access, a Londis convenience store and of course petrol."
The former post office, which was located 300 yards away from the station, closed last year after the subpostmaster resigned and the company withdrew its services. It has since been exploring options to re-open a service in the area.
Fifty-three-year-old resident John Gordon, of Main Road, Wetley Rocks, has welcomed the plans.
He said: "It is a really good idea and will be much more convenient for me, especially as I don't drive.
"Currently I have to go into Hanley if I want anything posting or to pay a bill, so I will be glad that there is somewhere a bit closer I can use."
Wendy Mellor, aged 57, also of Main Road, said: "It's a great idea to have somewhere more local and it's also good to hear it will have longer opening hours because that will be more convenient."
The plans are under public consultation until Tuesday, August 28. The service could be available from September 28.
Residents wishing to make comments on the proposals can submit them via email at email@example.com or via the customer helpline on 08457 22 33 44.