A PRESTWICK postmaster has spoken of the community impact of Post Office services after a contract for a vital UK-wide service was renewed.

A new deal enabling the Post Office to provide DVLA services, including road tax payments and driving licence photo card renewals, in branches across the UK begins on April 1.

The new contract will last for one year, with the option to extend it for a further two.

Stephen Cooper, postmaster at the Post Office facility in Prestwick, says being able to use the branch for DVLA services is essential for hundreds of his customers.

Ayr Advertiser: Stephen sees first-hand the vital support his branch can offer to customers who visit Stephen sees first-hand the vital support his branch can offer to customers who visit (Image: Bold Space)

Stephen said: “We have a couple of hundred customers a month who come into our branch to use our DVLA services.

"A lot of people rely on us to help them complete the important documents in person, whether they’re not confident to do it online, not sure what to do, or want to pay using cash – they know that we’re here to help.  

“It’s really important to support people who do not have online access. There’s still a lot of people in our community who can’t get online and prefer to work in cash – a large percentage of DVLA transactions in the post office are paid for in cash which tells you that part of society doesn’t want to move to pay by card or online.

"We provide an important access to cash service to allow them to still be able to do this.  

“For driving licence renewals specifically, we have people of all ages come into branch to do that, where we are able to support in a matter of minutes.

"It’s easy to take for granted these services we provide, but it’s great to see the impact they have on the community every day and the important role we play.”

According to research commissioned by the Post Office, 76 per cent of Scots in a survey of 2,001 UK residents who hold a driving licence think it's important to be able to access DVLA services at a Post Office branch.

The in-person services allow customers to get the support of their local Postmaster to complete these important transactions, offering the option to pay in cash instead of card.

Elinor Hull, the Post Office's retail, government and identity services director, said: “In person DVLA services are just one of many vital services our postmasters offer to customers in their local community.

"Our in-branch services provide a valuable lifeline to those who may not be comfortable with completing transactions online or who would like assistance as part of the process.

"Postmasters are rightly pleased that they can continue to provide this valuable face to face service and guidance to their customers, giving them a choice in how they’d like to renew vehicle tax and UK driving licence photocards.”