§ Mr. Patrick Hall
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the outcome and lessons learned review of the Post Office Urban Reinvention740W programme following its conclusion will include an examination of the extension of the flexibility currently covering the rural network to urban areas. 
§ Mr. Timms
Government policy for the post office network is guided by the recommendations of the Performance and Innovation Unit report on "Modernising the Post Office Network", published in June 2000. The report identified the different nature of the challenges facing the network in urban and rural areas, and there does not appear to be a case at present for adopting the approach being applied in rural areas to the urban network.
Rationalisation is necessary in urban areas where there are too many post offices for all of them to survive on the current levels of business available.