POST Office officials today announced two neighbouring branches are the latest in line to face the axe.

The closures are part of a national programme to restructure and modernise Post Office Ltd's national network of more than 9,000 urban offices because of a downturn in business.

Burnley Road post office in Rawtenstall and Wood Top post office in Bury Road, Rawtenstall, are set to close in July.

The closures of Edgeside Holme Post Office, Burnley Road East, Waterfoot; and Shuttleworth Post Office, Ramsbottom; were announced earlier this year.

Brian Gorton, sub-post master at Burnley Road post office said he had already stated saying his goodbyes to his loyal customers.

"I want to say goodbye in my own way and will thank each and every customer for their custom over the years."

Customers will have to travel half a mile to get to the Valley Centre, Rawtenstall, or Crawshawbooth post office which are the nearest to Burnley Road and Wood Top.

Eddie Herbert, head of area, today said: "In the case of Burnley Road and Wood Top, a declining number of customers, increased running costs and increased customer choice as to how their benefits are paid following the introduction of direct payment into accounts, have prompted sub-postmasters to want to leave our organisation.

"We have considered these requests very carefully and have concluded that if these officer were to close, it would improve the long-term prospects of the other officers in the area, two of which are within 1.1 miles."

Anybody with any opinions or concerns should write to National Consultation Team, PO Box 641, St Albans, AL1 5XN.