A campaign which started in Sydenham before reaching Downing Street to save the last Crown Post Office in Lewisham has ended in failure.

The news which thousands were dreading has now been confirmed with an independent stationary and card shop replacing the post office in Sydenham Road from November.

This is despite more than 3,000 people signing a petition to maintain the post office in its current form.

A spokesman for Post Office said most of its branches now operate from a franchise, with the Sydenham base the latest to follow suit.

The building will be refurbished on November 14 before opening as an independent shop two days later, with post office services still being available behind the counter.

Outraged Councillor Alan Hall told News Shopper: “It’s a national scandal. Post Office has announced a further 74 closures, with 900 jobs being lost and costing the taxpayer £35 million.

“It is time to halt these closures, improve the services by creating a post bank and take the threat to our high street seriously.”

Councillor Liam Curran, who was also involved in the campaign to save the post office, described the news as “genuinely sad”.

He told News Shopper he has particular sympathy for the staff members who will lose their jobs.

“Queues will be longer,” Cllr Curran told News Shopper. “It is more downsizing. Post offices should be a driving force for regeneration of local communities.

“The Sydenham community has fought many battles and it has won quite a few. We have lost this one. Nobody supported this.

“The vast majority were against the plans. We will win more battles in future.”

On April 26, campaigners marched to Downing Street where councillors delivered a petition with over 3,000 signatures.

This was after the only other Crown Post Office in the borough in New Cross Gate closed down in February.

A spokesman from Post Office said: "We will operate from a dedicated, open-plan area and there will also be a Post Office serving point at the retail till. Opening hours will be extended to include Saturday afternoons."