Labour's man Stuart King writes to Putney

Post Offices & Transport ........

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This month I was planning to talk about local transport, to coincide with the publication of the second edition of my Putney Paper, currently being delivered across the constituency.

But first I must report on what I’m doing to fight the just-announced plans to close two Post Offices in Putney – one on Lower Richmond Road at the junction with Erpingham Road, and the other at 279 Putney Bridge Road.

Anyone who’s been around in Putney for more than five minutes will know that Lower Richmond Road has already lost a post office, and this plan will remove any proximity to postal services for a community relatively isolated, bordered on three sides by Putney Common, the river Thames and the mainline railway. Equally, the closure of the Post Office in Putney Bridge Road will also leave the community in that neighbourhood with a considerably inconvenient journey to their nearest alternative post office.

That’s why it’s frankly laughable for The Post Office to claim that “in the area” are no less than five other branches: one in Barnes, two in Fulham and the others in Upper Richmond Road: a good half an hour’s walk or two bus journeys just to get there.

I’m not someone who believes that post offices deserve to be kept open by some divine right. Where, in the past, there have been duplicate services in close proximity and branches that are hardly used, it is right that Royal Mail considers their future. But this branch is not a duplicate; it is busy and popular – and perhaps most significantly of all, the area it serves is a genuine community that values its local post office.

Those are the reasons I’ve launched the campaign to save this post office – you can find out more at If you’re in the area surrounding the Lower Richmond Road post office you’ll be hearing from me soon with ways to get involved and help stop this K.O. of our P.O. – but I’d welcome your support where ever you live and whichever political party you vote for: this isn’t a party political issue.

We have until 2nd April to make our views known about the closure plans: as well as signing my online petition you can also write direct to Anita Turner, Network Development Manager, Post Office Ltd, FREEPOST CONSULTATION TEAM or email If you could copy me in to your submission this will help strengthen our collective voice against these plans.

Now back to transport.

The issue that will interest many of you most is my view on the proposed expansion of Heathrow airport. You can read what I think here.

Whatever ultimately happens to the Heathrow plans, the airport will still exist; and getting to and from it is for many local commuters a nightmare, there being no south of the river public transport link to our largest airport.

That’s why I’ve just launched my Putney4AirTrack campaign – plans to connect Waterloo Station with Heathrow via Putney. The beauty of this scheme is that 90% of the track to get this scheme set up is already laid – all that’s needed is a tiny spur linking Staines with the terminals. But the route must stop in Putney: the largest town between Waterloo and Staines – so if you want to see AirTrack built and Putney linked-in, add your name to my campaign by clicking here.

In the new edition of The Putney Paper I’m also reporting on long overdue plans to revamp Putney Station, which must be one of the most crowded, run-down stations in London. Getting Putney Station refitted is one of the ten demands of my Save Putney High Street campaign, so its great to see South West Trains (who are responsible for the Station) looking to do its part; now we need to get the Council to do the same.

You can read more about these and other transport issues in the special edition of The Putney Paper, and if you’d like to tell me what you think my transport priorities should be, click here to take my short survey.

Stuart King

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Putney

February 22, 2008