Thousands of rural post offices could close in the next five years in an effort to cut costs.

Royal Mail was yesterday handed a £3bn package by the government for a “radical transformation” which reports suggest will involve a consultation on how many rural post offices there should be.

Adam Crozier, chief executive of Royal Mail, said that 1,000 rural post offices had less then six customers a day and keeping them open was “not sustainable”.

He added: “It's clear that it can't continue the way it is. The status quo is not possible.”