Consumers have labelled the Post Office closure consultation “a sham” and say the government did not engage the public properly when deciding changes to the network.

A survey from campaign group Consumer Focus revealed that less than 20% of the public were aware that the closures were subject to a consultation and that many believed that the entire process was a sham.

This is not the first time the closures have been criticised. Last November a Commons committee of MPs stated that no consideration was given to members of the public or local communities when making the decision to close the branches.

Committee chairman Edward Leigh called the consultation “little more than window-dressing for a decision which had already been taken”.

As part of the closure scheme more than 2,500 post office branches were shut over the past two years in an effort to sustain the network. 

Responding to the survey,  Postal Affairs Minister Lord Young said that the closures were necessary to ensure the viability of the network.

He added that 2.7 million people had made their views known about the closures and that the network was now on a more sound financial footing, with the government having made it clear that it will not support further closures.