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Post office on wheels to serve Milford, Hordle, West Wellow and Cadnam

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A POST office on wheels will be visiting four New Forest communities left without a permanent branch in a new scheme which launched on Friday.

Run by Dibden postmaster Paul Patel, the mobile unit will call at Milford, Hordle, West Wellow and Cadnam offering a range of services.

Paul is also postmaster of Grayshott post ofice in Surrey, and has run a successful mobile service to outlying villages there for a number of years.

The new mobile post office will call at Hordle, Milford, Cadnam and West Wellow
The new mobile post office will call at Hordle, Milford, Cadnam and West Wellow

He said: “We have a mobile post office van which has proved to be very successful and we realised that it wasn’t being used for two days a week and could benefit several New Forest communities which have been left without their own post office.”

Working with his son Miraj Patel, Paul has arranged the following schedule:

  • Wellow Village Hall in Button Lane, Friday 8.45am-9.45am
  • White Hart Pub, Old Romsey Road, Cadnam, Friday 10am-11am
  • The Pavilion on Vaggs Lane, Hordle, Friday 11.30am-1.30pm, and Saturday 9.30am-11.30am
  • The car park adjacent to Milford community centre, Sea Road, Friday 2.15pm-4.15pm, and Saturday 11.45am-1.45pm

A banker by profession, Paul helped out in his father’s newsagents when he was a boy. In 2006, he quit banking to run the family business full-time and said he is always looking for innovative ways to serve customers.

Paul said: “The service is a real post office on wheels. We will be offering all the usual postal services as well as things like cash withdrawal, cheque payments and foreign currency.

“The only thing we cannot offer is passport checks. As we get out and speak to the communities we hope to evolve to offer even more such as stationery and envelopes.

“Our aim is to build relationships with local people and respond to what they want. It’s possible that if the demand is there we could increase the length of our visits.

“We very much hope that it will be a long-term service but we do need the communities to come out and support us.”

He added: “We hope to stick to the times as closely as we can but occasionally there may be issues with traffic or other delays so we hope our customers will bear with us whilst we settle into the new routine.”

Post Office network provision lead Graham Brander said: “We are pleased to introduce mobile post office services to Cadnam, West Wellow, Hordle and Milford as we know how important post office services are to communities.

“The travelling post office is aboard a specifically designed vehicle. It is a tried and tested way of maintaining service to communities. It provides the best possible solution to maintain post office services to the community.

“These are temporary solutions whilst we continue to look for permanent solutions.”

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