Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Self-service kiosks could replace Isle of Man sub-post offices

Isle of Man Post Office Van Image copyright Isle of Man Post Office
Image caption Tynwald has already supported reducing letter deliveries to five days a week

Self-service kiosks could replace dedicated Manx sub-post office counters if politicians approve plans to overhaul services and cut costs.

The Isle of Man Post Office has published proposals for cheaper "demand driven" services.

In future, sub-post offices could be replaced with kiosks, secure parcel drop facilities, and "pop up" offices.

Losses by the post office retail arm are expected to rise to £1.7m by 2023-24.

Post office chairman Julie Edge MHK said the counter services, which have seen a 39% fall in usage since 2009, were "threatening the self-financing status" of the organisation.

A report on the modernisation of the network will be debated by Tynwald members later this month.

'Decline in use'

It is predicted the use of the face-to-face services will decrease further as the government's online services expand.

The report said current contracts to provide road tax and driving licence renewals and make cash benefit and pension payments, which are worth more than £1m in retail income each year, look set to be lost by 2022-23.

There are currently 22 sub-post offices in the island, the majority of which offer a dedicated counter within shops.

A spokesman for the National Federation of Sub-postmasters said it was "very concerned" by the proposals, which "simply manage this decline but will be at the direct expense of sub-postmasters on the island".

Mrs Edge said: "For some time, the retail network has operated at a loss and has been subsidised by other areas of the business, but the status quo is no longer acceptable."

Various cost saving measures have already been agreed as part of a five-year strategy outlined by the post office last year, including changes to pay and pensions for workers and the scrapping of most Saturday letter deliveries.

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