Calls for Portsmouth’s empty shops to become Royal Mail collection points

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EMPTY shops in Commercial Road could be key to solving Portsmouth’s growing mail problems, says the former leader of the city council.

Lib Dem Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson hopes Tory council leader Donna Jones can work with Royal Mail to set up collection points in the city centre.

It may be, that the council can look to some of the empty property in Commercial Road. It would need to be close to other public transport, as this is the sort of thing people use all the time.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem group leader

It comes after Cllr Jones pledged to do all she can to tackle problems at the firm’s new Voyager Park hub and get pop-up centres going to ensure families can get parcels over Christmas.

Royal Mail has since issued a statement after Cllr Jones announced her plan to the full council saying it wants to resolve the situation ‘as a matter of urgency’.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘This is a good idea and people will be very grateful if it happens. I don’t know where the best place for another collection centre would be, but it would need to be accessible to everyone.

‘It may be that the council can look to some of the empty property in Commercial Road.

‘It would need to be close to other public transport, as this is the sort of thing people use all the time.

‘You get slips through your door saying you need to collect a parcel, you weren’t in, or not enough postage has been paid. It’s happening a lot more these days. So it needs to be somewhere people can get to.’

Disgruntled customers have spoken out over long queues, poor parking and public transport access and the lack of disabled facilities at the new Voyager Park mail centre, which replaced the closed Slindon Street and Northern Road branches in an effort to modernise the business.

Efforts are being made to get Stagecoach to re-route a bus service so it takes in Voyager Park.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: ‘We fully appreciate the concerns that have been raised by council members and wish to reassure them, and all our customers, that we are working to improve our service as a matter of urgency.

‘We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis.’

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