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Last Updated: Friday, 21 September 2007, 07:09 GMT 08:09 UK
U-turn over mail centre closure
Sorting office sign
Gloucester staff said they were shocked but relieved
Plans to shut Gloucester sorting office as part of a 20m expansion plan for the Royal Mail centre in Swindon have been scrapped.

It was announced 12 months ago that operations at Reading and Gloucester would be moved to Swindon.

The new plan means Oxford and Reading mail centres will now close in 2009, but Gloucester will remain open.

Royal Mail said the changes addressed "an urgent need to improve mail consistency and efficiency".

Support package

Area general manager Michael Devanny said: "We believe that moving work from Oxford to our extended facility in Swindon, which will be equipped with the latest technologies, will enable us to address an urgent need to improve the reliability of the mail services for our customers in the OX postcode area.

"Our first priority as we take forward this plan will be to fully support staff at all sites, particularly recognising the impact on our Oxford colleagues as a result of the revisions to our original proposals."

When it was announced to the staff, there was a lot of relief
Paul Trehearne, Communication Workers Union

He added that the company had a good "record of managing people through change" and that they would be consulting with the unions and staff.

Development work is due to start at Swindon on 8 October.

As part of the plans, a new delivery office is being developed for central Reading.

Paul Trehearn, Gloucestershire branch Secretary of the Communications Workers Union, said: "When it was announced to the staff, there was a lot of relief.

"They were very shocked to hear this news. It looks like a major u-turn for Royal Mail"


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