Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday 28 May 2008

More post offices in Scotland scheduled for closure

Those affected in this round of post office closures are in north-east Scotland; more than 40 post offices, mostly rural, from Forres in Moray to Lochgelly in Fife are affected.

My attitude toward an earlier round of closures in Highland Region was somewhat ambivalent; I recognised the difficulty some people ('service users' in the jargon) would have after the closures took effect, but on the other hand most of the affected branches were relying on a very small number of customers, and even if the potential numbers of customers were greater, many of those potential customers had never been over the thresh-hold of these post offices in many years so it was difficult to understand how their objections to the closures could plausibly be entertained.

That remains my basic attitude, but there probably comes a point where the continuing closures will fuel an increasing downward spiral as more and more people no longer even have the possibility of using a local post office; the remaining network might well become increasingly irrelevant, particularly as many of the transactions previously channeled through post offices have been diverted elsewhere so that the remaining purely 'post office' business is no longer sufficient to help support the other business such post offices transact. I am not entirely sure where I am going with this, but the continuing rounds of post office closures do, more and more, begin to resemble 'slash and burn'. If this continues, will any but major city centre post offices exist in 15 or 20 years time?

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