A TRANSFORMATION of a popular Marston post office has been hailed as a resounding success by residents and councillors.

Marston post office, located inside the Costcutter at Old Marston Road, was re-opened to the public last week after shutting its doors for the refurbishment on January 28.

Now it has been transformed into a new 'Post Office Local' branch which features longer opening hours and additional banking services for its customers.

Councillor Mick Haines welcomed the re-launched facilities and said it had a particular significance to him as it came more than a decade after he took a petition, signed by some 1,200 people, to Downing Street in order to save the then threatened post office.

He said the site had become something of an unofficial community centre for residents to come together and socialise as well as conduct their day-to-day postal services.

He said: “I have been in and I am very pleased, and I am really over the moon with the refurbishment.

“It is such an important asset for the community and particularly for the elderly that regularly use it. It is a place for the community to meet up with each other and chat.

"It is always very busy and well used and it would be a shame to lose it, its a real benefit for the community to have."

He added that fellow residents who had visited the new branch had been 'delighted' with the makeover.

The new post office will now be open for an additional 43.5 hours each week, with new opening hours from Monday to Saturday between 7.30am and 9.30pm, and on Sunday between 9.30am and 4.30pm.

There are also new manual banking services for customers as well as banking transfer service Transcash and Parcelforce International Services.

Cheques will continue to be accepted at the branch as before.

Sue Whittall, Post Office Area Manager, said of the new 'modernised' facilities: “Opening hours have almost doubled at Marston Road Post Office.

“We are making it easier for customers to get their cash, send and collect their mail and do their banking because we know how important these services are to local residents. Customers can now visit the branch seven days a week from early to late.

“We are confident that this vibrant new-style Post Office at the heart of the local community will meet customer needs.

“This modernisation is part of a major investment programme, the largest in the history of the Post Office and will secure services for the future.”