Post office could re-open to serve Elmer residents.

Customers could soon find themselves using a post office in Elmer.

Hopes are rising the service could be reinstated for the area’s residents.

They have been without a place on their doorsteps in which to collect their pensions, buy papers and groceries since the Elmer Beach Post Office and General Stores in Elmer Road closed in late August.

Middleton Parish Council clerk David Allsopp said its members were keen to see the post office re-opened in line with the wishes of residents.

“The post office was a vital service to the people of Elmer and Elmer Beach. Its closure affected a lot of local people, particularly elderly people in that community.

“They could catch a bus to the post office in Middleton, but they would much prefer to have their own one.

“Of course, the business was more than a post office. It was a general store as well,” he said.

Post Office spokesman Val Bodden said: “We are still actively looking to find a suitable applicant to take over the post office service in the area.

“We remain committed to restoring a service to the Elmer Beach community as soon as possible.”

The post office and stores shut on August 26 after joint owners Tony and Tracey Johnstone decided they could no longer afford to keep struggling on.

They blamed the store’s demise on the opening of a Tesco Express branch in Felpham. They claimed its arrival took away £4,500 of trade every week.

The couple had run the post office and stores since November 2004.

But they said it was impossible to stay in business as their trade declined in the shop, along with the trend by the government to take customers away from the post office by arranging payments direct to their bank accounts.

The Elmer Beach branch survived a cull of post office branches nearly four years ago which shut five of them across the Bognor Regis area, though the shops in which they were based are still open.