BRIDPORT will be without a post office for more than a week when it shuts for open-plan refurbishment from February 13 to 20.
Customers will have to find alternative services at Bradpole, Burton Bradstock, Chideock, Charmouth, Dorchester, Lyme Regis or Beaminster – although the B3066 road is currently closed for resurfacing until next Friday.
The Post Office has agreed to put on a free shuttle mini bus from Bridport to Beaminster on Thursday, February 13, Monday February 17 and Wednesday, February 19.
While the Beaminster road is closed the bus will take the two-mile detour, said a Post Office spokesman.
The service will run from outside Bridport Post Office at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm.
It will return from Beaminster at 10.45am, 11.45am, 12.45pm, 2.45pm, 3.45pm, 4.45pm.
The announcement follows Dorset Community Action’s Simon Thompson comments that the Post Office suggestions for alternative services were ‘unreasonable’.
He said: “The refurbishment of the office is of course very welcome. The suggested alternative services of Bradpole and Lyme Regis during the main post office temporary closure is rather unreasonable.”
Mr Thompson said the post office is providing free transport from Sherborne to Yeovil while its post office is refurbished this month.
He added: “In the interests of consistency Dorset Community Action requests a similar free bus service is provided for Bridport customers preferably to Beaminster main post office.”
Bridport Post mistress Sylvia Page said closing the post office was the very last thing they wanted to do but for security and health and safety reasons they had to.
She said shop fitters would be working 24/7 to get the work done as quickly as possible.
Customers have been given letters and the notice of closure has been taken to the tourist information centre and doctors surgeries.
Mrs Page added: “We have been handing out bus timetables because the majority of people it will impact sadly are elderly customers but fortunately they all have bus passes. It is with absolutely great regret that we have to close but it will be a much better environment when it is finished. Our customers have been very understanding.
Post Office area manager Adrian Skinner said: “We understand how important the Post Office is to residents around Bridport and we are confident that this new modern Post Office service will meet the needs of the local community and secure services for the future.
“This modernisation is part of a three-year investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office, that will see around half of the Post Office network converting to new-style branches and marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.”