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Ashton's Royal Mail delivery office to remain permanently closed

Ashton's Royal Mail Delivery Office will be remaining permanently closed, following previous plans for a temporary relocation.

In December 2023, a routine building fabric survey at the office revealed the presence of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) panels.

On the advice of chartered structural engineers, two exclusion zones were created in the building and a propping system was installed as a temporary safety measure.

After further investigation, the decision was made to relocate the Royal Mail operation to Manchester Mail Centre while a permanent solution was designed.

In a letter to Angela Rayner MP, Royal Mail Headquarters said this was a "huge effort" by all colleagues so close to Christmas and they did an "outstanding job" to keep the service going.

Since this temporary move, customers have been collecting any items that could not be delivered after the second attempt from the Customer Service Point (CSP) at Hyde Delivery Office.

Since then, a number of options have reportedly looked into so the Royal Mail operation could move back to Fleet Street in Ashton. These included providing additional structural supports at the delivery office; replacing the roof; and moving some delivery rounds to Hyde Delivery Office and others to Oldham Delivery Office.

The letter also stated that, unfortunately, it is not practicable to retain or replace the RAAC roof, which would require internal changes following the works.

"We have had to consider the significant cost of such work alongside the reality that, with the changing mix of parcels and letters, we had already been experiencing the effects of size constraints," it read.

"In looking at alternative options we have also had to acknowledge space constraints at other sites, and the potential impact on quality of service in the OL5, OL6 and OL7 postcode areas."

It has been concluded that the best option is for colleagues to permanently relocate to the Oldham Delivery Office on Hamilton Street.

The company feel this site offers a more suitable working space and has room for them to expand to take account of future growth in parcels.

Some works will need to be made to facilitate this move and Royal Mail have said they will work with the relevant authorities to enable that work as soon as possible.

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