The postal service is already in crisis. It is hard to imagine that it could get a whole lot worse. But that is what is possibly going to happen.
There are 11,500 operational post offices in the UK at the moment - down from 19,000 at the turn of the millennium.
It now appears that the Government has no plans to replace the 4,000 subpostmasters due to retire this year.
The Business and Enterprise Select Committee welcomed Government intentions to keep the network at 11,500 branches between now and 2011. But this is now looking uncertain.
It has been argued that a network of around 7,500 would meet national criteria for access to branches but Government funding and the business case were based on the number of outlets remaining at 11,500 after the current round of closures to be completed this year.
Brighton MP David Lepper has campaigned tirelessly to retain Post Offices in the city but a number of key outlets have been closed this year. This has severely tested the capacity of the remaining few and put unreasonable pressure on business owners and members of the public who now have to queue for hours each time they visit their post office.
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