Two post offices close each week as rural services plummet

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

A Citizens Advice study found 206 disappeared in the last two years and 1,291 were “temporarily closed”. The charity ‑ the postal sector’s official watchdog ‑ said branches had plummeted from about 25,000 in the mid-1960s to 11,415 by last March.

It said one in three rural post offices is now offered as a part-time “outreach” service, open for an average of just 5.5 hours a week. One was open for just 10 minutes a week.

Citizens Advice urged the Post Office to invest more in rural areas to keep communities connected to vital services. 

Charity CEO Dame Clare Moriarty said: “Post offices sit at the centre of our communities. But they’re at breaking point.

“We’re currently losing two a week and outreach services often aren’t an adequate replacement.”

Caroline Abrahams, of Age UK, said: “Millions of older people rely on their local post office. Towns and villages trying to recover after two years of lockdowns need to protect this vital community asset.”

The Post Office said it did not accept the study “accurately reflects our network of 11,500 post offices that has been stable for a decade”.

Saying it was “sustaining and strengthening” its network, it added: “In 2019 alone, Post Office opened over 200 branches and last year we responded to the pandemic with the fastest net growth for decades.

“Sometimes branches close, but in many locations an existing nearby post office or another new branch will open to serve that community and meet the access criteria ‑ 99 percent of the public living within three miles of a post office and 90 percent within one mile.”

Source: Read Full Article