NORTH Main Street post office is dealing with the knock-on effect of the Shandon Street branch closing with up to 40-minute queues at peak business times.
Shandon Street’s post office closed over the Christmas period, despite a widespread public outcry to keep it open. The stipend paid by An Post for the running of the office — including staff costs, rent and overheads — was reduced by 15%, forcing the postmaster Barry Lyne to close its doors.
An Post has said it is open to re-establishing a branch in Shandon but nobody has come forward willing to take up a postmaster’s contract, despite the company advertising it twice.
However, local Sinn Féin Councillor Thomas Gould said he does not believe the contract being offered is viable.
Local Solidarity Councillor Fiona Ryan said most of Shandon’s customer base of approximately 500 people are now going to North Main Street leading to lengthy queues.
“The queues at North Main Street are astonishing,” Ms Ryan said. “They are consistently out the door. That was never the case before. People who are regular customers of the North Main Street branch say this was never the case until the Shandon Street branch shut down.
“I believe anybody who did not specifically ask to be transferred to a particular branch for social welfare payments have been automatically transferred to North Main Street.
“There is a lot of anger and it remains to be seen whether these numbers will tail off as people reassign themselves to a new post office or if this is the new norm.
“Certainly people will not tolerate standing in queues for up to 40 minutes in the freezing cold to access basic services. There is no shelter and really this is just trying to force people online and away from physical services,” Ms Ryan added.
An Post has attributed the queues to a technical issue which they say has now been resolved.