A petition has been launched to save a Post Office in Welwyn Garden City, after it was put at risk by a refusal to expand services.

The site in Londis in Howardsgate is run by Sachin Patel and Bankin Bhatt, who want to offer passports, driving licence photo ID cards and travel insurance to customers, with fears that they will be forced to close without them.

But, according to Welwyn Garden City BID, their request has been refused by the Post Office, with a spokeman saying: "At a time when banks are closing their high street operations, Sachin and Bankin offer a lifeline to so many people including many of our town centre businesses.

"The Welwyn Garden City Post Office plays a crucial role in our community by providing vital services that are indispensable to both residents and local businesses.

"The closure of the Welwyn Garden City Post Office in 2016 left a significant gap in services for our community. Given this context, the Post Office in the Londis shop stands as a rare remaining bastion of essential services."

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The BID has also launched a petition to help save the Post Office, describing it as a "rare remaining bastion of essential services".

"We understand that achieving the status of a main Post Office will be challenging for Sachin and Bankin, but we urge Post Office bosses to consider the significance of their efforts and the impact they have on our community," the spokesman continued.

"These services are of utmost important to our residents. The only main Post Office remaining in the borough is in Hatfield town centre."

In a desperate plea, Sachin added: "We have tried to negotiate to get main Post Office status but this has fallen on deaf ears.

"We feel our customer base is strong enough to offer the full range of services.

"We are open seven days a week, so we would be able to extend the Post Office opening hours if we could provide all the main services."

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has joined the BID in back Sachin and Bankin, pledging to put pressure on Post Office bosses to allow the expansion.

The Post Office has been contacted for comment, but this newspaper is yet to receive a response.

To sign the petition, visit www.change.org/p/save-our-local-post-office-preserve-essential-services-for-our-community.