The Post Office has identified the first 180 post offices it is considering for closure. The Times

The first tranche comprises 58 branches in Kent, 45 in East Yorkshire and 77 in the East Midlands.

The Post Office is consulting on proposals that could result in 2,500 closures by the end of next year.

A six-week public consultation will be held in all the affected areas before the final decisions are made, but most are likely to be closed.

A further 36 announcements of closures are expected over the next nine months.

The government said that 4 million fewer people were using Britain’s 14,000 post offices each week than two years ago, and losses had risen from £2m a week in 2005 to £4m a week last year.

Fewer than 16 people a week used the 800 smallest rural post offices, at a cost to the taxpayer of £17 per visit.