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Whitton postcode campaigners secure partial victory

The Royal Mail agrees to recognise the town as a postal district in a move campaigners say will help preserve the area's identity

Whitton residents Lyn Adams-New and Michelle Phelan are joined by Lib Dem council candidate Michael Wilson as they present their petition demanding Whitton postcodes to Twickenham MP Vince Cable

Campaigners have won a partial victory in their campaign for Whitton to get its own postcode, getwestlondon understands.

The area has been recognised as a postal district, Twickenham MP Vince Cable said today, meaning mail can now be addressed to Whitton rather than Hounslow or Twickenham.

Previously the town's name had been crossed out by Royal Mail sorters when it was included in someone's address.

Householders in Whitton have campaigned for years to get their own postcode rather than being lumped in with Hounslow or Twickenham.

It has been a particular bone of contention for those who have Tw4 Hounslow postcodes despite living in the borough of Richmond, as they said this drove up insurance bills while deflating house prices.

The Royal Mail has previously said there were insufficient grounds for shifting the postcode boundaries, and making Whitton a postal district is understood to be a compromise.

It is unclear whether the move will have any effect on insurance or house prices, but campaigners said it would help preserve Whitton's identity and allow people living there to express their pride in the area.

Mr Cable, who has campaigned on the issue with Liberal Democrat councillors John Coombs and Liz Jaeger, party activist Michael Wilson and local residents, described it as a 'victory for common sense and for local campaigning'.

"Residents were realistic enough to accept that post codes and towns cannot be changed, but they can now make it clear that they live in Whitton, which is of course distinct from the borough of Hounslow," he added.

"This is a big step forward and a real tribute to the tenacity and dedication of residents and campaigners who made this happen."

A spokeswoman for the Royal Mail said: "We have decided to add 'Whitton' as a locality on our Postcode Address File after discussion with local residents and after analysis of our operational network.

"This is still subject to consultation with all affected local residents. Customers sending post to residents in Whitton should always use the appropriate postcode."

She added that the locality would cover around 2,500 addresses and a three-week consultation was planned for January, with the new status set to take effect from February, subject to public support.

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