£450m DVLA deal boosts post offices

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A HIGH Peak postmaster has welcomed the decision to award a £450 million lifeline to the Post Office to provide Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) services at its post office network.

The Post Office saw off competition from two rival bids to secure the seven-year deal to continue offering front counter services such as tax disc renewal.

The new deal, which comes into force in April, also includes new services currently offered through DVLA local offices, such as the provision of duplicate licences and licensing of Heavy Goods Vehicles, while giving scope to provide services for other Government departments.

Les Baines, of Hayfield Sub Post Office, faced going out of business if the contract was lost.

He said: “It’s been getting harder and harder every year as more and more business was taken away, so this latest news is very welcome and will hopefully put us in a stronger position.”

Paula Vennells, Chief Executive of the Post Office, said: “This is a ringing endorsement of the Post Office’s strong track record in successfully delivering essential government services.”

The new deal is expected to save taxpayers between £13 million and £15 million a year.

High Peak MP Andrew Bingham added: “I’ve always said that local post offices are at the heart of community life, especially in rural areas like the High Peak.

“I’m delighted this decision has been taken, which will help sustain those post offices and the vital services they provide for residents.”