PRESSURE has intensified on an inconsistent Post Office service that shut again within days of an MP being given assurances over its opening hours.

Last week the Post Office service at Northallerton's WH Smith was slammed as 'diabolical' by one customer who said the counter often shuts with no notice, leaving customers turning up to find it cordoned off.

Read more: Rishi Sunak given assurances over 'diabolical' Post Office service

The Post Office said that the closures were caused by staff having to self-isolate during the Covid-19 pandemic and were short-term.

Bit within days of the town's MP Rishi Sunak being given assurances that the situation was temporary, the Post Office was shut again on Thursday with no notice.

It re-opened on Friday.

Mr Sunak has now stepped up the pressure on the Post Office and WH Smith to resolve problems at the Northallerton branch.

He has contacted the Post Office and WH Smith chief executive Carl Cowling asking for improvements as soon as possible.

The Post Office said WH Smith had managed to source staff to overcome the most recent issues.

Going forward they would be “over-recruiting” for the branch.

This would mean that there would be a surplus of trained staff in the branch to allow them to redeploy them to the Post Office counters should there be any staff shortage in the future.

The Post Office also said the Sunday service would be re-instated by mid-November.

Mr Sunak welcomed the promise of action to solve the problem.

He said: “This is overdue. The Post Office has apologised for what has happened in recent weeks and does now understand the frustration and anger of my constituents."

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He added: “Communication about the short notice changes to the branch’s opening hours has been poor and many people have been inconvenienced.

“As the situation improves I have further urged the post office to improve the way it communicates changes to the hours of operation by updating its website promptly to avoid people making unnecessary journeys.”

The Post Office moved into the WH Smith store more than two years ago after closing its branch in Northallerton High Street.

Since August it has had reduced opening hours and closed completely some days.

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