Friday, May 19, 2006

Adam Crozier the Beeching of the Post Offices

Adam Crozier the Chief Executive of the Royal Mail has said:

That the current situation — where a thousand post offices have fewer than six customers a day — was “not sustainable”.

However, six per day comes to 36 a week which might actually be the whole population of some of the villages that are possibly under threat by mr Crozier's radical changes. Rural post offices are often also the only source of banking services in some rural communities so their universal provision is of vital importance to many people. He says these unprofitable post offices lose £2m a week, or £104m.

Of course all this talk of radically cutting post office services has also come the day after £1.7bn of Taxpayers money is being provided to bail out the Royal Mail's pension scheme.

Yet somehow dispite £1.3bn being injected for radical transformation of the Royal Mail Mr Crozier is talking of meeting his legal obligations with only 4000 of the current 14,500 post offices. But what about his moral obligations to provide customer satisfaction, not all of the 4000 offices he will be maintaining are going to be easily accessible especially by our most vulnerable citizens. This sounds like it might become as radical a cull of a vital service as that carried out by Dr. Richard Beeching on the railways in the 1960s.

We need the government to have a clear rethink on Post Office policy and provision and to lay down conditions on the way this £3bn of our money is actually being used. Surely this should be to improve the service not to further reduce it.

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