Ciizens Advice has recently published their Gaps in the Network report on the impact of rising numbers of outreaches and temporary closures on post office access.
The post office network continues to provide vital access to essential face-to-face services at a time when many other providers are deserting the high street and moving to online only.
Their latest research shows
- Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) people visit a post office every week, while nearly half (45%) visit at least once a month
- But across Britain almost 1,300 post offices are temporarily closed
- 1 in 3 rural post offices are now part-time outreach services, open for an average of only 5.5 hours a week
- The report confirms that increasing temporary post office closures and part-time outreaches make it significantly harder for people and small businesses to access services.
When post offices close people are forced to take on the additional costs and inconvenience of travelling further – something that can be particularly challenging in rural areas and for those who face barriers to travelling long distances.
And although for some people outreaches may be better than nothing, many find the service inadequate. Provision is too infrequent, opening hours inconvenient, queues too long, and vital services missing.
Urgent action is needed to reverse this trend to ensure that the post office network really is convenient and easily accessible to everyone. Citizens Advice will continue to work with stakeholders to develop workable solutions and push for their implementation.
Click on link to view a really good video highlighting the current struggle some rural communities are experincing when their post office closes: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1I0b9BwVJyPUlUpi2GHB9XgQreee_7Twi/view