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New Generation Of Mobile Post Office Vehicles Shift Rural Lifeline Into Top Gear

Press Release   •   May 30, 2014 08:50 BST

- 40 new vehicles provide walk-in post offices on wheels
- Mobile branches serving over 250 locations a week across UK
- New vehicles to cover half a million miles over coming year
- Post Office “modernising to meet customers’ needs”
- Modern, reliable service for customers

Post Office has announced the roll-out its new fleet of mobile post offices, deploying 40 new vehicles to serve 250 locations every week in rural areas across the UK.

The new vehicles are Mercedes Sprinter vans, kitted out to provide a walk-in post office on wheels, with the added facility of an accessibility lift. The mobile branches are operated by subpostmasters who can bring all of the services that their core branches provide to more isolated areas.

These services include postage of letters and parcels, personal banking such as cash withdrawals, and savings and insurance, providing accessible and convenient facilities for thousands of people every week.

The vehicles are being deployed to rural areas in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and will cover half a million miles between them over the next 12 months – the equivalent of driving along the Equator around the earth 20 times.

They are replacing the current fleet of converted LDV vans, which have travelled around three million miles altogether over the past six years.

Kevin Gilliland, Post Office Network Director, said: “We are very pleased to see these 40 new mobile post offices take to the road to provide vital services for our customers.

“Post Office is modernising to meet customers’ needs. We are investing in services across our network to make it easier for customers, whether that means they are served via one of our new vehicles in more isolated areas or at a modernised high street branch.”

Stocksfield Post Office in Northumberland was the first in the UK to put their new vehicle into gear, and it has been a big hit with both customers and the operator, Colin Lisgo, who runs the service from subpostmaster Martin Nichol’s branch.

It is a lifeline for people on Colin’s route and he recognises the important role it plays in the lives of many of the customers he serves every week.

He said: “You have to ask how people in these remote communities would be able to pay their utility bills and access cash easily without us.”

The conversion of the vehicles from standard vans into mobile Post Office branches is being undertaken by Leicester Carriage Builders, part of the Central England Co-operative Ltd.

The Post Office is currently implementing a multi-million pound investment programme across its network. Nearly 2,500 branches across the UK have already been modernised under this programme, providing well over 60,000 extra opening hours in total as well as service in more modern retail environments.

The Post Office’s online offering has also been improved. Helpful information on products and details of special promotions can be found at www.postoffice.co.uk, with the ability to purchase and apply online.

The Post Office, now independent of Royal Mail, is the largest retail network in the UK with over 11,500 branches. It is also one of the UK’s fastest growing financial services companies and is the market leader for travel money.

Some 99.7% of people in the UK live within three miles of a Post Office service.

ENDS

Post Office Press Office
1st Floor, 148 Old Street,
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Tel: 020 7012 3456 (24 hours),
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www.postoffice.co.uk

Pictures available from the Press Association picture wire and Post Office Press Office.

About the Post Office

The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/.

Please note the Press Office team can only deal with enquiries from the media.  Unfortunately they do not have access to customer information so can not help with customer enquiries.

If you have an enquiry regarding any Post Office product or service please visit postoffice.co.uk or call 0845Local call rates apply. Call costs may vary depending on your service provider. Calls may be monitored or recorded for training and compliance purposes. 611 2970.