Residents in Cambuslang are facing Christmas without their Post Office.
The office has been shut for three weeks after asbestos was found in the building.
Scotmid, who run the facility as well as the store it operates from, say they are still looking at temporary accommodation in the town while work takes place to remove the asbestos.
But they admitted this week it was “looking increasingly unlikely that we will be able to open a temporary store and post office this side of the New Year.”
The company, who cannot put a timescale on the closure, say this is down to operational issues and the fit-out of the store.
They will continue to operate a free bus service to a post office in East Kilbride and will be introducing an enhanced service to other nearby post offices over the festive period.
A spokesman added: “Scotmid’s focus remains on re-opening our Cambuslang store and the Post Office as soon as possible. Later this week we will be submitting a plan of works for the remedial work required, prepared by the specialist contractor, for agreement with the Environmental Health Office.
“Scotmid would like to apologise for the inconvenience that the closure of the Cambuslang Scotmid and Post Office is causing the Cambuslang community.”
A spokesperson for Post Office Ltd added: “We would like to apologise to customers for the temporary closure of Cambuslang Post Office branch due to circumstances beyond our control. We would like to reassure customers that we are committed to maintaining services in the area and are working closely with Scotmid in order to restore these services to the area as soon as possible.”
It had been thought a solution was close, but it now seems elderly and disabled people in the town are facing a nightmare to get their presents posted.
Rutherglen and Hamilton West MP, Tom Greatrex met with representatives from Scotmid and Post Office Ltd last week.
He said: “The reason for the lack of post office is deeply unfortunate and not anyone’s fault, but what I have made clear in discussions is it is important everything is done to ensure people in Cambuslang have access to a post office, particularly this close to Christmas.
“Whilst providing a bus service is welcome, it is not sufficient for the number of people who want to use the Cambuslang Post Office.”
Iain McKenzie, chair of Cambuslang Community Council, said it was vital a temporary solution was found: “This is probably the busiest time of year for any post office.
“If there is anything we, as a community council can do then we will. The weather is not great and it’s hard enough for older people to get out without contemplating a bus journey.”
Lindsay Scott, of charity Age Scotland, said: “It’s good to know Scotmid are making some sort of alternative plans for older people who prefer the traditional method of greeting friends and family at Christmas.
“But alternative accommodation is obviously the best solution.”
He added: “It’s vital that the transport is made accessible to everyone.”
A Scotmid spokesperson said the current 18-seat bus was not wheelchair accessible but that they hoped to provide a 12-seat, wheelchair accessible one in the near future.