POSTAL chiefs are to be grilled for the first time over their controversial decision to axe a Royal Mail sorting office in Glasgow's East End.

Officials will attend a public meeting being organised by protesters who want them to abandon plans to switch services out of the city to Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire.

Royal Mail today admitted the shock switch from Cubie Street in Dalmarnock to a hi-tech hub in a sprawling industrial estate will be made on Monday, January 28, despite an angry backlash from residents and community activists in Bridgeton, Dennistoun, Dalmarnock and the Calton.

Hundreds of locals have signed protest petitions in an attempt to "save our sorting office" while campaigners are to hold a protest meeting at Bridgeton Community Learning Campus in Dale Street, on November 17, from 1pm and postal chiefs said they will attend.

Protesters claim the planned relocation to Cambulang's Fullarton Drive is too far away particularly for the elderly and that most locals can't afford to pay a £1.50 fee to have bulky items delivered to their nearest Post Office.

John Henderson, chairman of the Bridgeton and Dalmarnock Community Council, said: "The Cubie Street sorting office serves more than 25,000 people in one of the most deprived areas of Glasgow.

"In a city containing the highest percentage of non-drivers in the UK, Royal Mail plan to move a key local facility three miles to the east, in Cambuslang, to a location where the nearest bus stop is a 20-minute walk away through an industrial estate."

Stephen Birrell, chairman of Dennistoun Community Council, added: "The current sorting office is exceptionally well used and for those without online access it's currently difficult enough to arrange a redelivery.

"The alternative of delivering to a local post office for a fee of £1.50 is seen by many as an attempt to raise company profits via the poorest people in Scotland."