The case for keeping Auchinairn Post Office open

Having spoken to and corresponded with many people in the area surrounding Auchinairn Post Office, it is clear that people want to retain this facility. 

 

Below I have detailed the sound reasons why Auchinairn Post Office should be kept open, and the problems with the suggested alternatives.  Comments from local people have been included to illustrate these points.  Attached for your information are original comments and letters received from local people.

 

Background

 

Auchinairn is a distinct community within the larger town on Bishopbriggs in East Dunbartonshire, and Auchinairn Road where the Post Office is situated forms the boundary between East Dunbartonshire Council and Glasgow City Council. 

 

The 2001 Census for Auchinairn & Crowhill ward gives us the following information:[1]

 

Auchinairn & Crowhill

  • 17% of the population is over 65
  • 12% are not in good health
  • 22% have a limiting long-term illness
  • 37% are economically inactive
  • 37% of households have no car

 

On these indicators of health and economic prosperity, Auchinairn compares unfavourably to the Scottish average [2].

 

            Scotland

  • 10% of people in Scotland are not in good health
  • 20% have a limiting long-term illness
  • 35% are economically inactive
  • 34% of households have no car

 

 

The reasons for keeping Auchinairn Post Office open are:

 

  1. 1.    Alternatives are inaccessible for elderly & disabled people
  2. 2.    Difficulties in journeying to alternative
  3. 3.    Location of alternative is of concern
  4. 4.    Post Office services a deprived area

 

 

 

  1. 1.    Alternatives are inaccessible for elderly & disabled people

As detailed in the information circulated by the Post Office, all 3 alternatives involve an incline / decline that is “steep” or “moderately steep”, a fact pointed out by one resident who wrote: 

“The Post Office's own research indicates that elderly people will face inclines to all the alternative post offices.”

Other local people echoed these concerns:

            “We are not able to walk to Bishopbriggs”

“Inconvenient for people who are disabled, as it is all uphill from Bishopbriggs to Auchinairn”

The reality is that travel by foot to the alternatives will not be possible for many of the current customers of Auchinairn Post Office, in particular the elderly and disabled people who may struggle with the inclines.

 

  1. 2.    Difficulties in journeying to alternative

The bus route to the main alternatives is very inconvenient, requiring people to take two buses to reach the Post Office in Bishopbriggs town centre:

“Very inconvenient.  No direct bus service to Bishopbriggs Post Office"

“It will mean me having to take 2 buses.”

“It would mean travel either to Springburn Post Office or travel on two buses to get to Bishopbriggs from Auchinairn”

While pensioners do receive free travel, there are other people who do not benefit from this who would suffer from having to pay bus fares to collect their benefits:

“Only one [of the alternatives] has a bus service, and this is only free to pensioners, so disabled people on benefit would be disadvantaged.”

Not everyone can take advantage of bus services, and this can have a financial implication:

            I have great difficulty getting on and off buses.”

“A catastrophe for most OAPs.  They will have to walk all the way to and back from Bishopbriggs, or they will have to find the money to hire a taxi in either direction.  Existing on one's pension is hard enough.”

 

  1. 3.    Location of alternative of concern

The only alternative proposed (Broomton Road) that does have a bus service is not considered as a realistic alternative by many local people.  In particular safety issues were raised:

“I would be too afraid to walk to Broomton Road in Balornock.”

“Don't feel safe going to Broomton Post Office.”

This branch is located within the Glasgow City Council area which certainly has a higher crime rate than East Dunbartonshire.  In addition we must consider the fear of crime, which is a problem too.

 

  1. 4.    Post Office services a deprived area

This Post Office services a deprived area, being located just a few metres away from two of the 100 most deprived wards in Scotland - Wallacewell ward which is the 36th most deprived, and Springburn ward which is number 39.[3]

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