Thursday, December 14, 2006

post offices

The government today announced the closure of more than 2,500 small post offices.

We live right at the edge of Coventry, in a suburb-cum-village called Eastern Green. About a year ago, the local post office closed several local post offices saying that they were too close together.

So, everytime I need to send a parcel, I have a fair walk to the nearest post office, which is a bit more than a mile away. We also have a very small post office a bit further away in a local village which I try to use if I am in that direction.

We used to live in a village on Dartmoor, where the village post office was one of the only links to the outside world, and I can see how many people would mourn the passing of their post office.

A main post office is only a 15 minute bus ride away for me. But is quite a different matter if you're 30 miles from the closest town or you are an old person living off a main bus route. I hope that those making decisions are wise in their choices.

But, really, we have to get a better idea of what these services are for. It makes no sense for me to use a post office to send parcels as I can send the same parcel with the same courier from home for half the price. A post office is a business, so if there are insufficient paid transactions (ie more than just people drawing their pension), then I'm not sure they deserve to survive. One might, indeed, be able to replace a permanent post office with a travelling benefits service together with a cut-down post service that only sells stamps. I am sure that is not a solution for every situation, but we have to broaden our perspective and our requirements.


Blogger Lady M said...

In the US, the post office has been financially independent for a few years now. One of the big things they did was start issuing a lot of commemorative stamps and such collectibles to generate revenue. Seems to be working ok at present.

9:55 PM  
Blogger pat said...

Get your voice heard - the rural post office network -

Everyone has a view on the future of the rural post office network - but will everyone's views be heard? Perhaps you have a good idea on the future of the network; perhaps your own experience shows a vital aspect has been over-looked.

So, don't be left out: go to state your views and have an impact on the future of post office services in rural areas.

6:31 AM  

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