RIBBLE Valley MP Nigel Evans has put his name to a motion calling for pensioners to continue collecting pensions from the post office.

The Conservative MP is concerned loss of trade from pensioners will cause post offices to close.

He said: "The threat is real. Pensioners have sustained our post office network for years.

"The rural post office network is a vital service and must be protected. The real losers will be rural villages, like those in East Lancashire, which depend on post offices the most."

The post office is planning to close a number of rural and urban branches to cut costs.

From, April pensions will be paid direct into bank accounts.

The motion signed by Mr Evans proposes that pensioners who wish to continue collecting through the post office be given a card account.

He said: "The government should offer pensioners real choice. Many have been left with the impression they can no longer use the post office and have to find a cash machine or a bank branch instead."

The motion calls for all options to be available and advertised clearly so pensioners can make their own choice.