Part-time post offices should be introduced to limit the impact of the closures planned for the coming year, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB believes offices which open two or three days a week could cushion the blow of the closures. FSB trade and industry chairman Clive Davenport said the federation was realistic about the future of post offices, but that it was important the closures were handled carefully to minimise the impact on business owners.
He said: "Our members tell us that a good way to alleviate the potentially devastating impact of the closures would be to have part-time post offices open on certain days of the week. Greater thought needs to be given to how we can safeguard the remaining network, allowing it to grow and prosper."
In response, a spokesman for the National Federation of Subpostmasters said it agreed the closures were bad news for small businesses, but that they were also a necessary first step in establishing a sustainable network for the future. He added: "While part-time post offices may partly fill the gaps where otherwise there would be no post office service, the NFSP is extremely concerned that the post offices that do remain actually have a future."