Government to shut down 2,500 post offices

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Indy Politics

Up to 2,500 post offices will close by 2009 in the fastest closure programme in the history of the network, the government confirmed yesterday, citing fewer people using the network and rising losses.

The Trade and Industry Secretary, Alistair Darling, said the massive reduction of branches was needed because of losses of £4m a week, twice as much as in the previous year.

He also unveiled a five-year investment package of £1.7bn designed to preserve of urban and rural branches.

The closures, which will begin next summer, will continue for 18 months, reducing the size of the network to about 11,760.

The National Pensioners Convention has accused the government of having "blood on its hands" over the closures.

"Even though the closures have been known about for some time, they still come as a devastating blow for millions of pensioners who rely on their local post office as a lifeline," Dot Gibson, the vice-president, said.