The National Federation of SubPostmasters (NFSP) has slammed claims by the Communications Workers Union (CWU) that the government’s plans to separate Royal Mail and the Post Office would lead to the closure of 9,000 branches.

According to a survey of 800 subpostmasters conducted by the CWU, 92% of respondents believed that their post office would be either very unlikely or unlikely to survive without business provided by Royal Mail following the separation.

The survey also revealed 90% of subpostmasters have ‘little or no’ confidence in the government to return services to local post offices, and that 89% of respondents would be either very unlikely or unlikely to continue to run their post office. This, according to the CWU, would lead to more than 9,000 post offices closing in the UK.

CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said that the figures “clearly demonstrate the fears of subpostmasters about the fate of our cherished post office network”.

NFSP general secretary George Thomson said that the survey did nothing to help the cause of subpostmasters or the network. “The NFSP will continue to strive for the best possible outcome from forthcoming changes to the Post Office for subpostmasters,” he said. “Scaremongering about the future does nothing but harm to the network and subpostmasters.”

Thomson added that the NFSP was working with the Post Office, Royal Mail and government to organise new contracts for government services.