POSTAL services in the Kendal area could be under further threat of permanent disruption if fears that the town's collection office could close turn out to be founded, according to MP Tim Farron.

Mr Farron has been an advocate for the retention of local post offices in the area and says that the potential closure of the Royal Mail collection office in Stricklandgate would leave the Post Office itself under threat - and would be disastrous for the area.

He said: "Royal Mail seems to be in total meltdown.

"I am aware that Royal Mail is looking to close sorting offices in order to balance the books in the short-term but this will inevitably lead to a yet further decline in service.

READ MORE: 'It would devastate the town' - Campaign launched as sorting office 'to close'

"I feel sorry for our postal workers, who are working overtime to clear the huge backlog in mail, and Royal Mail refuse to pay overtime.

"I have heard rumblings that both Kendal and Sedbergh delivery offices are set to close and be 'consolidated' somewhere between the two towns - leaving the Post Office's themselves under threat.

"This is something that we would strongly resist.

"There is little that the Government can do having sold off its remaining 30 percent of shares in Royal Mail but it still has a Royal Charter which offers some degree of protection.

"We must fight to retain our local services, or a centuries-old institution is in danger of collapse."

A spokesman from Royal Mail said: "With customer footfall down around 50 per cent at our 1,200 Customer Service Points compared to pre-pandemic, we are conducting a review to determine the optimum number of locations, taking into account efficiency and changing customer preferences."

The spokesperson confirmed that no decision had yet been made on Stricklandgate or any other site.

Simon Thompson, chief executive of Royal Mail, said: "We have always been clear we need change to survive.

"We have started turning the business around and will do whatever it takes.

"We have worked hard to deploy our contingency plans to minimise disruption to customers and impact on revenue.

"Our infrastructure plans are on time and we are now making the operational changes to turn Royal Mail into a thriving business that will provide great service for our customers at a competitive price and long-term job security for our people."