THE MPs for Wyre Forest and Hartlebury have welcomed the news that post offices will continue to issue driver documents for the next seven years.

The Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, has announced that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has awarded the contract to the Post Office to provide DVLA’s services through the post office network.

Mid Worcestershire Conservative MP Peter Luff, in 2009, as chairman of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, produced a report on securing the future of the post office network that condemned what he described a “the failure” of Government departments to realise the potential of the network, saying: “The biggest barrier to the expansion of Government services offered through the network is the attitude and lack of imagination of most Government departments.

“History has given Government an unparalleled and highly valued portal in the post office network. Departments must try harder to provide their services through post offices.”

Following Mr McLoughlin’s announcement on Wednesday Mr Luff said: “Three years later at least one Government department has woken up to what the post office network has to offer.

“I realise only a minority of post office branches will gain directly from this DVLA work but it is huge step in the right direction, will give a huge boost to the whole network and shows what can be done by a minister who understands the value of post offices.

“Post offices are vital to many rural and urban communities and we should do all we can to support them. That’s why I’m so pleased that the Government is making it clear that there is scope for the provision of other Government services through the post office network.”

Wyre Forest’s Tory MP Mark Garnier said: “I have been contacted by many constituents in the past few months who are concerned over the future of services available at the Post Office.

“I congratulate the Post Office on being awarded the DVLA contract after a competitive bidding process and am confident that they will deliver an excellent service for motorists throughout Wyre Forest.”