Closure of Accessible Post Office in Mariánské Lázně Leaves Elderly Residents with Limited Options

Stanislava Benešová

Until now, there were two post offices in Mariánské Lázně. One was in the center near the arcade, and the other was in Ušovice on the other side of the town, where the housing estate is located. It is the accessible one in Ušovice that is to be closed down. As a result, residents will now have to travel by public transport across the town, and for those who are less mobile, there will still be an obstacle in the form of steep stairs in front of the main entrance.

“It’s unfortunate,” comments Petra, an information center worker, on the closure of the Ušovice post office. She describes how many people live in the southern part of the town and has a more convenient option to go to the post office there rather than to the center. “Especially in winter, it’s not entirely good when retirees have to climb a hill to the building and then go up the stairs,” she objects. The small hill leading to the building is paved with cobblestones, and in winter, it can freeze and pose an accessibility problem.

“A lot of elderly people use the Ušovice post office, and there are often queues,” says Martina, a 45-year-old who uses the services of both post offices, depending on what suits her. Like Petra, she thinks closing the post office is not a suitable solution.

Hedvika, who has lived in Mariánské Lázně since birth and works in a spa wafer shop, adds a different perspective. She only goes to the central post office and criticizes the change in opening hours, which means she doesn’t have time to wait there. “It just doesn’t suit me, and I can’t wait for two hours or an hour and a half when they have their lunch break. I don’t know where it’s heading,” she adds. The closure won’t affect her personally, and she won’t miss the second branch.

The difference in opening hours between the two post offices is only on weekends. During the week, both are open twice until six in the evening and three times until four, with an hour-long lunch break. The central post office is also available on Saturday mornings, while the Ušovice one is not.

Trolleybuses run through Mariánské Lázně so that all residents can reach the post office without any problems, even without a car. The only challenge that remains is the accessible entrance.