Post Offices

House of Lords written question – answered on 8th December 2014.

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Photo of Lord Roberts of Llandudno Lord Roberts of Llandudno Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many post offices and sub-post offices have closed in the United Kingdom since 2005.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

In November 2010, this Government published its policy statement “Securing the Post Office network in the digital age”, which made a clear commitment that this Government would end the programmes of closure of the previous administration, and instead invest in the Post Office to secure a network of at least 11,500 branches with a sustainable long-term future.

Since 2010, this Government has committed nearly £2 billion to maintain, modernise and protect the Post Office network, and this is clearly reflected in the network figures that show the size of the network is now stabilised. It is important to note that within a network of over 11,500 branches that is overwhelmingly operated by independent agents, there will be fluctuations in the number of open branches as subpostmasters leave the network for a number of reasons, such as retirement. Where a replacement is not immediately available, the Post Office works hard to restore access to services in the community.

The Post Office makes details of the size of its network available to Parliament on a regular basis. These show that at on 31 March 2005, there were 14,609 post offices. The comparative figure at the end of the 2013-14 reporting year showed there were 11,697 branches. The following table sets out changes to the network size for the years between 2005 and 2014:

Reporting date Post Office network size
31 March 2005 14,609
31 March 2006 14,376
31 March 2007 14,219
31 March 2008 13,567
31 March 2009 11,952
31 March 2010 11,905
31 March 2011 11,820
31 March 2012 11,818
31 March 2013 11,780
31 March 2014 11,697

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