RESIDENTS will be forced to travel an extra three miles to collect parcels when a post office leaves a village after the base it operates from closes down.

Royal Mail will no longer have an Althorne base from Tuesday onwards because the shop it calls home, Jeyam’s Supermarket, is closing down.

It means customers will have to pick up their missed deliveries in Maylandsea instead from Wednesday.

Post Office said it had been unable to find another suitable location to base the service from in the village.

But a spokesman said it continued to seek a solution.

She said: “Althorne Post Office will be temporarily closed from Tuesday, June 26 at 5.30pm due to the resignation of the postmaster and the withdrawal of the premises, which we do not own, from Post Office use.

“We understand and appreciate how much communities rely on our services and we apologise for any inconvenience caused by this temporary closure.

“In the meantime, customers can find Post Office services nearby including our Latchingdon, Maylandsea and Southminster branches.”

Paul Burgess, chairman of Althorne Parish Council, said he was sad to see the Post Office go.

Mr Burgess said: “It’s been on the cards for some time, but it’s a real shame to lose what is an important amenity for many people.

“I think the shop has seen a drop in its footfall since it lost the chiller unit, it attracted a lot of passing trade that way with people stopping in to buy drinks.”

Royal Mail said mail deliveries will continue as usual in the village with the same postmen and women.