A disability working group run by the council has called for a rethink of plans to move a town centre post office.

A proposal to transfer the Post Office in Market Pace to Broad Street’s WHSmith was announced in October and agreed in February.

Both town centre post offices in Reading would be on the first floor if the proposals go ahead, which has concern over accessibility and fire safety for people with disabilities.

A consultation took place in November and December 2018 and the post office announced its decision to go ahead with the move last month.

Councillor Rachel Eden, chairman of the Access and Disabilities (A&D) Working Group, said: “It is the decision of the post office but I feel concerned about having only first floor post offices in the town centre.”

The Market Place branch is set to close at 530pm on May 15, with the new branch to open at 9am on May 26.

The A&D Working Group agreed unanimously to send a letter expressing concern about having only first floor post offices in central Reading.

Roger Gale, network and sales director at Post Office Limited, said: “After careful consideration of the feedback received, we remain confident that the new branch will continue to meet customer needs and deliver an excellent service, whilst securing the long-term viability of Post Office services in Reading.”

The new post office on Broad Street will be accessible by a customer lift, an up escalator or stairs.

If the lift is out of order at any time, Post Office Ltd say WHSmith would resolve this as quickly as possible to minimise any inconvenience to our customers.

If customers are unable to access the first floor, alternative arrangements would be made at the ground floor retail counter, providing customer access to most of the services normally available upstairs but not high value services such as business banking and foreign currency.

Helen Bryant, access officer at Reading Borough Council (RBC), said: “I do not think it is an ideal scenario. There is only an eight-person lift. There is no mirror and no way to tell what floor you are on.”

Some members of the working group also raised concern about exiting the post office in the event of a fire, as lifts would not be usable.