CAMPAIGNERS battling to save post offices in the heart of Hounslow and Isleworth have stepped up the pressure as the consultation deadline approaches.
Thousands of people have signed petitions supporting branches in South Street, Isleworth, and Whitton Road, Hounslow, since Royal Mail announced plans to close 169 offices across London last month, including one in Chiswick High Road.
Opponents claim the move will 'rip the heart out of the community', leaving pensioners stranded and putting small traders out of business.
Essex County Council this month became the first local authority in the country to discuss taking over threatened post offices - a move Hounslow Council is now considering.
However, Hounslow's head of economic development, Abdu Rashid Craig, said Royal Mail was no longer issuing new franchises and had already 'stonewalled' Westminster Council when it suggested similar proposals.
He added that the council would not be in a position to commit money until September, by which time both branches could already be closed.
With less than a fortnight to go before the six-week consultation ends on April 2, the Chronicle caught up with protesters in Isleworth and Hounslow to see how the campaign is going.