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By Hugh Boag
Arran has lost its local postal service.
The last post box where local mail could be posted and delivered, without leaving the island, was sealed this week.
It means all mail posted on Arran will now go to the main sorting office in Kilmarnock before being returned to be delivered around the island.
And there is growing anger that this service, part of the historic postal tradition on the island, was withdrawn without any consultation.
At at meeting of Arran Community Council on Tuesday, held using Zoom, there was concern at what was seen as the detriment of local mail.
It was known at the meeting that all mail posted in other villages on the island – and even at the Book and Card Centre in Brodick – routinely went to the mainland.
But it was Brodick member Colin Mackenzie who dropped the bombshell that the ‘local’ post box, at the old post office in Alma Road, was now closed as well. The ‘other places’ box remains open.
Shiskine member Neil Arthur said: ‘It seems the Royal Mail has managed to save a few quid by removing a service. This is the second time they have tried to do this.’
Chairman Bill Calderwood said there must be a concern that the service would deteriorate and said he was concerned that businesses already struggling with a cash flow during the pandemic may now have to wait four of five days for a cheque.
It was agreed to write the Royal Mail asking for answers as to why the service had been removed without any consultation. ‘It is something which should be questioned, ‘ Mr Calderwood said.
However, it is understood by the Banner that mail posted on the island for Arran addresses was not given any priority but was delivered, with the mail sorted in Kilmarnock, at the same time.
Also there is no longer any franking done on the island so no Brodick postmark was in use before the latest development. It could also be argued that the volume to mail posted today is a good deal less than in years gone by, although increased online shopping has boosted some services.
The postal service on Arran has a proud history dating back more than 200 years. At one time there were 16 post offices serving the island, a far cry from the service which remains today.
Royal Mail has yet to respond our inquiry.