Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Saturday, 9 August 2008 17:21 UK

Post office demo is turned back

Post office closure demonstration: dog with poster
Protesters planned to march to their next nearest post office

Villagers protesting about the closure of their post office by marching to the next nearest branch were turned back by police on safety grounds.

More than 200 people took part in the demonstration over the planned closure of Altarnun post office in Cornwall.

But they were forced to stop just a short way into their route because police said it was too dangerous for the group to cross the busy A30.

Protest organisers said this proved their branch should stay open.

It will take the heart out of the village
Father Peter Hibbert, village priest

The villagers had planned to walk the four miles from Altarnun post office, which is scheduled for closure, to Lewannick post office, which will remain open.

However, just a mile into their march they were stopped.

Protester Julia Sheppard said: "The police are saying we cannot go onto the A30 and therefore it [the route to the new post office] is too dangerous.

"It's no good any of us thinking we can do it."

Father Peter Hibbert, the village priest, said: "I think the closure will devastate the village.

"I'm concerned about the domino effect it'll have. It'll take the heart out of the village in many ways."

The closure is part of the Post Office's "network change" plan which will see 2,500 branches shut across the UK.

The Post Office said that when the programme is completed 99% of the UK population will still live within three miles of a branch.

Opponents in Altarnun claim that for them it will mean a journey on foot across a busy dual carriageway or a trip of about 16 miles by car.

60 post offices face closure
05 Aug 08 |  England
Post Office reveals closure list
05 Aug 08 |  South Yorkshire
Final post offices 'will close'
05 Aug 08 |  England
Protest march over post offices
02 Aug 08 |  Cornwall

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