MORE than 60 post offices across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have been earmarked for closure, it was revealed today.

Post office users' worst fears were realised with the announcement this morning.

Many of the branches on the list the Post Office says it wants to shut are in rural locations, which critics believe could be disastrous for local communities.

Others though, are in cities and towns.

The company insists the impact on residents will be minimal, saying more than 99 per cent of the region's population will either see no change to their nearest branch, or will have less than a mile to travel to one.

It is also considering plans to work with third parties to provide "outreach" services, which could even see some communities served through their local pub.

Closing 62 branches would leave the county with just 291 full-time Post Offices.

The Post Office says it is now embarking on a six-week period of public consultation over the plans, and campaigners will be hoping they can convince bosses to save branches they believe are essential.

Liberal Democrat MP for Romsey Sandra Gidley said: "There is a very short consultation period running just until 26th November, so we have no time to lose to make our voices heard. Once the post offices have closed, it will be far more difficult to bring them back".

Click HERE to see the full list of closures in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight...