A POWYS border postmaster is fighting to stop the government scrapping vital services that could mean the loss of yet more post offices across the country.

Tim Allen, from Kington, says rural post offices may be forced to close if the government carries out its threat to cancel the provision of road tax services, both an important source of income and the way people without the internet usually tax their vehicles. 

According to research conducted by Citizens Advice Bureau, more than 2 million people in the UK do not have internet access.

Tim has started a petition on Change.Org, calling on the government to abandon its plans.

Post offices are already struggling to survive on very narrow margins, despite providing important local services, especially in rural areas where banks have closed. According to National Federation of Sub-Postmasters (NFSP), around 3,000 post office branches could close if they lose the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) contract.


Unless the government changes its mind, the DVLA will end its contract with the Post Office on March 31, 2024. Currently, post offices handle over 6 million DVLA transactions annually, contributing £3.2m per year to their income.

DVLA services enable customers to pay vehicle tax, renew driving licenses and apply for international driving permits. Over the past decade, the Post Office’s share of DVLA work has dropped from 70 per cent to around seveb per cent as the government has increasingly pushed drivers online.

Most DVLA transactions made over post office counters are paid for in cash. If post offices no longer provide these services, the only option will be online payments further excluding the most vulnerable in society. The NFSP thinks this may breach the Equality Act 2010 and the government’s own policy on access to cash and social inclusion?

Mr Allen took over Kington Post Office in Herefordshire in June 2019 when it was threatened with closure as the old postmaster retired and the Royal Mail closed down the sorting office it had on the site.

Because no replacement postmaster could be found, Mr Allen re-trained to qualify for the role to ensure that the Post Office stayed open.

He said: “Kington Post Office already runs at a loss and losing this service is another nail in the coffin for this and every post office. If the day comes when we are forced to close, there will be nowhere for the local people and small businesses who we know genuinely need us to do their banking or access other postal services, now all the banks have gone from Kington.”

The petition can be accessed here: https://chng.it/tP9vb78p4H