The Royal Mail’s move from Abingdon Street to Bispham will finally happen early next month following delays.
Bosses had originally planned for the new facility, built on land off Faraday Way, to be fully operational by ‘summer 2015’.
But while the delivery office in Poulton moved on Monday September 7, the Abingdon Street office will not move until Monday, October 5, although the company insists it is ‘on schedule’ according to dates it announced in August.
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden, who previously accused Royal Mail of ‘completely dismissing’ the current Abingdon Street building, which he praised for its convenient location, said: “We need a reasonable explanation from the Royal Mail as to why there appears to be further delays in this process.
“Clearly there are existing problems, as I well know, at the existing site and for the sake of staff and general operations, it’s probably better the move takes place as soon as possible.
“However, the Royal Mail has still got to give clear indications to me about the adequacy of access for people with disabilities, given that the bus stop is still some way from the [Faraday Way] site.
The phased move to the new site is proceeding to schedule and will culminate with the Abingdon Street site moving on October 5
There will be free parking, including disabled bays, at the 25,000 sq ft office, which was built on a 3.34 acre site .
A Royal Mail spokesman told The Gazette yesterday: “The phased move to the new site is proceeding to schedule and will culminate with the Abingdon Street site moving on October 5.
“The new site has as open-plan enquiry office with screenless counters which are designed to serve disabled customers.
“However, customers will not need to travel to the new delivery office.
“Royal Mail can arrange a re-delivery free of charge on a day that is most convenient for customers, which includes Saturdays.”
Current sites ‘not fit for purpose’ as move to modern facility looms
Merging Blackpool’s and Poulton’s delivery offices made sense, Royal Mail bosses have insisted.
The firm’s delivery director for the north west, Adrian Fielding, said staff would be working hard to minimise disruption during the phased move.
He said: “We have been searching for a more suitable site for our Blackpool delivery office for some time, as the current sites are no longer fit for purpose. The new proposed site is a modern, fit-for-purpose building, conveniently located for our processing operations at Preston Mail Centre.
“The move will give us the opportunity to modernise our delivery operations in Blackpool and Poulton and continue to provide a high quality service to our customers.”