THE Post Office has pledged a solution to two rural villages postal problems.

It is to introduce a temporary Mobile Post Office service to Wolsingham next month to maintain service.

Following the resignation of the operator, the Wolsingham Post Office is due to close on Monday, February 1.

The Spar store is moving to a new location at the A689 Shell petrol station on the outskirts of the town, without the Post Office.

The Postmaster for Tow Law is to operate a temporary Mobile Post Office whilst they continue to look for a permanent solution.

From Wednesday, February 3, this service will be available twice a week outside the car park next to the Town Hall, Wolsingham.

The Mobile Post Office will visit on a Wednesday: 4 – 5.30pm and on a Friday: 2.30 – 4pm.

To accommodate this new Post Office service in Wolsingham, the Post Office has introduced some minor changes to the current opening hours of the Mobile Post Office services.

The affected areas include Satley, Witton-le-Wear, Hamsterley, Witton Park, and Coundon.

These changes will also take effect from Wednesday, February 3.

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 temporary solution to maintain Post Office services to the community whilst we continue to seek a permanent solution.

Ian Murphy, Post Office Network Provision Lead, said: “We are pleased to be maintaining Post Office service to Wolsingham.

“We know that this community will welcome this news.

“We continue to look for a permanent solution.”

Durham County Councillor for Weardale, John Shuttleworth said: “It would really be helpful if the mobile post office could visit Wolsingham a few times a week until a new provider is found.

“Ideally a local shop in the village, which is willing to take on providing Post Office services.

“It is very much needed in a village with over 2000 residents, a lot being elderly.

“Barclays Bank closed in Wolsingham in July 2018.”

Meanwhile in Teesdale, Post Office services have been restored to Gainford community at Gainford Village Hall.

The previous branch closed in August due to the resignation of the Postmaster and the withdrawal of the premises for Post Office use in Main Road.

The new opening hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 1pm - 3pm.

Mr Murphy added: “We are delighted to have restored Post Office service to Gainford as we know how important a Post Office is to a community.”

Durham County Councillor for Barnard Castle East, George Richardson said: “Its always good news for the post office to be in a village.

“Hopefully something permanent will be sorted in the long term.”

Both the Mobile Post Office in Wolsingham and Gainford Village Hall are temporary service while the Post Office continues to seek a permanent solution.