PROTESTERS are calling on the Post Office not to move a branch 650m away over fears it will reduce their access.

Neighbours in Caversham Heights who use the Woodcote Way store on a weekly basis say there would be a lack of access, security and privacy at the newly proposed store in Conisboro Avenue.

The proposed move is said to allow improved opening hours for customers and a public consultation is currently under way.

Robin Blackwood, 89, of Gurney Close, said: "I just find it great here (at the Woodcote Way post office) because I don't want to go into town all the time.

"It will be dreadful if they move it further away.

"I wouldn't be able to walk there which is what I do now, and that's good for me."

The Post Office launched a consultation in November, detailing the proposed move, much to the anger of residents.

The consultation poster reads: "We're proposing to move this branch to new premises. If the move goes ahead, the branch will change to one of our new local style branches.

This will mean Post Office services will be offered from a till on the retail counter in a modern open plan branch, longer opening hours and the majority of Post Office products and services will still be available."

A group of neighbours protested outside the Woodcote Way store today, voicing their concerns and signing petitions to stop the move from going ahead.

They have also called for aid from Reading Borough Councillor Isobel Ballsdon, who has joined their fight.

"I think it's despicable the way that Post Office has launched the consultation period over the Christmas period," said Helen Lymas, of Kidmore Road.

Berna Macdonald, added: "We desperately need this post office here, there is plenty of parking here. If it moves the parking situation is going to be awful."

Cllr Ballsdon added: "The way they (Post Office) are trying to spin this is by saying people will have more access to postal services, I have lots of elderly residents who can just about manage to get themselves to the current store but the extra walk will be too much for them.

"People have also said the new store is on the wrong bus route for many of my residents.

"Nobody in my ward is in favour of these proposals, because of that in my personal opinion moving the post office would be a retrograde step.

"It's a real community hub and the staff are wonderful."

The consultation ends tomorrow (December 8).

A spokesman for Post Office said: "The Post Office is proposing to relocate Woodcote Way Post Office next door to Conisboro Stores, 46 Conisboro Avenue, Caversham, RG4 7JB with significantly longer opening hours.

"The current Postmaster is looking to leave under the Post Office branch modernisation programme – the biggest in the history of the Post Office, subject to finding suitable premises and a suitable new Postmaster.

"We will then consider all feedback received before during consultation before any decision is made."

The consultation will end January 8 2016

Sign the petition here: