COUNCILLORS urged Royal Mail to “think about the consequences” of shutting its sorting office and moving it nearly four miles away.

The postal giant is planning on moving its base in Marlborough Road, South Woodford, to Station Road, Chingford – but 1,688 people have signed a petition against this.

But at a full council meeting at Redbridge Town Hall, Ilford, last night, campaigners begged the authority to step in.

Matthew Shaw, who is part of the South Woodford Society, told the meeting: “We want Royal Mail to rethink the closure of the delivery office in South Woodford which is an important part of the local community.

“The office is used by many residents and the move will impact everyone in the area, particularly the elderly.

“With the rise of internet shopping, post offices are key and a drop off point needs to be established in South Woodford so residents have greater accessibility to postal services.”

Councillors from both sides agreed the decision will have no positive impact on people in the community.

It will finally shut its doors in the summer, but Royal Mail claim no jobs will be lost.

Bosses also say people will benefit from the longer opening hours - but that is no consolation to the people who say its move will be a "very sad day".

People have previously told the Guardian Series moving the office would be a "massive blow".

Labour Cllr Helen Coomb, said: “Due to the difficulties many will face in getting to Chingford, some other facility must be found in the South Woodford area.

“I urge Royal Mail to think again about the consequences of closing the offices and to think of alternatives.”

Opposition councillor, Emma Best, said: “This is a detrimental move for the local community. It will be too much for the one sorting office to deal with and queues will be huge.”

The distance between the two centres is 3.6 miles, but people who signed the petition say many will struggle to get there.

Labour’s Cllr Ross Hatfull, said: “The South Woodford office is well used by foot, and as there are no direct trains to Chingford, infrequent busses and the journey is 20 minutes by car, fewer residents will use the service. There’s only one reason they’re doing this – money.

“Families who walk to pick up parcels use our high street shops and bring money back into the community.

"This will impact highly on South Woodford and there will be less trade in the area. I am really concerned.”

Cllr Lloyd Duddridge, added: “This is the free market at its worst, it’s profit before people.”

Council leader, Jas Athwal, wrote to Royal Mail’s chief executive of Royal Mail in November to oppose to closure and he told the meeting he will be writing to them again.

He said: “We are limited in what we can do, but we must unite and exert as much pressure as possible.”

Liberal Democrat, Cllr Gwyneth Deakins, added: “Royal Mail will not be flexible, they only care about money.

“I feel that the community services we have are being taken away by large organisations, but we must not give up the fight.”