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Post Offices: Disabled

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to what extent Post Office Ltd. is required to ensure that post offices providing services to members of the public are compliant with laws relating to disabled access. (225314)

Post Office Ltd. acknowledges the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. Post Office Ltd. itself is responsible for compliance with the Act in respect of access for disabled people to its services at Crown offices, and sub-postmasters and franchisees are similarly responsible for promoting disabled access to the services they provide.

Post Office Ltd. is committed to the needs of all disabled customers whether they visit Crown offices or franchised offices and it is therefore engaged in a continuing process of working with its sub-postmasters to maximise the accessibility of its services to disabled customers and support compliance with the Act.

For example, as part of the Network Change Programme, where a post office branch has been selected for closure, Post Office Ltd. has checked the accessibility of alternative local branches including the accessibility of public transport for disabled people. Post Office Ltd. has also set up a fund that contributes towards improvements in sub-postmasters' premises that improve access for disabled people. Post Office Ltd. has also trialled using the Direct Enquiries website to provide information to disabled people on the accessibility of branches.