A second Post Office will open in Scarborough if the main centre in the town moves into WH Smith, it has been revealed.
Proposals put forward by the Post Office network could see the Post Office branch in Aberdeen Walk move inside the WH Smith store in Westborough this year.
During a meeting today with Scarborough councillors, Post Office public affairs manager Richard Hall revealed that the company would also look to open a second, smaller branch in Newborough.
He did not reveal where the branch would go but said it would operate as well as the operation inside WH Smith.
He told the councillors: “In today’s climate the move to WH Smith is a sustainable model.
“We are trying to be in more locations for customers.”
He said there would be five counter positions, a reduction of two on what is available now.
A wide range of services would still be available at the branch, with the exception of DVLA Photocard Driving Licence renewal and Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence application services and a cash machine.
A number of councillors said they had concerns.
Cllr Vanda Inman (Ind) said: “People trust the Post Office and I’m not sure you are not going to destroy this.”
Cllr Liz Colling (Lab) expressed concerns over how people with mobility issues would cope.
She said: “WH Smith is a long thin store and I don’t think there is enough room for people to queue safely.
“I have no faith in their ability to keep the aisles free.”
Mr Hall said he would argue there was sufficient space and there would be seating for people who required it.
Cllr Roberta Swiers (Con) responded: “I go in Smith’s a lot and I don’t think there is room.”
Mr Hall said the Aberdeen Walk building would revert back to the Royal Mail which owns the lease. Royal Mail has operated as a separate company from the Post Office since 2012.
He added that letter sorting would continue on the site.
Cllr Tony Randerson (Lab) and Cllr Dilys Cluer (Green) both said they remained unconvinced.
Cllr Randerson said: “In my view, this is a non-starter, you haven’t convinced me and you shouldn’t even be considering doing this.”
Mr Hall told councillors that if the move goes ahead the Aberdeen Walk branch would close at close of play one day and the new branch open the following day.