Communities face the “catastrophic” loss of 2,500 post offices unless ministers intervene, MPs are warned today.
Around 1,000 branches are already listed as shut, with two out of every three closures triggered by sub-postmasters quitting.
The Commons Business Select Committee will be told their morale has been “eroded” as online shopping hits business. Some 22 per cent of the 11,500 that are left plan on closing or downsizing in the next 12 months.
The alert from the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters comes amid the Mirror’s High Street Fightback crusade.
Revenue received by the network of post offices from providing Government services plunged from £576million in 2004-5 to just £99million in 2017-18.
The NFSP is to tell an inquiry: “A tipping point has been passed. It is increasingly difficult to make a decent living.”
The organisation wants a Government subsidy to be extended past 2021 and for sub-postmasters to get better pay. The Business Department said the “vital” network had received £2billion of investment since 2010.
Royal Mail is launching the UK’s first parcel postboxes to make life more convenient for online sellers.
The move follows a successful trial and marks the first major change in the use of postboxes in 160 years.
The parcel postboxes enable small businesses and other sellers to post pre-paid parcels in the same way they currently post letters.
They will also allow customers to post some barcoded returns parcels back at any time.
The parcel postboxes are being introduced later this year in locations across the country including Birmingham, Leeds, Aberdeen and Cardiff.
Mark Street, head of campaigns at Royal Mail, said: “The wide-scale introduction of parcel postboxes is one of the many ways we are looking to make the lives of our customers easier.
“The parcel postboxes trial last year was a success, and we hope that the wider roll-out gives added flexibility to online sellers who might be running a business in their spare time and not keeping regular office hours.”