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16 April 2003

Stevenson Warns Run Down Of Postal Service May Hit Prospects Of e-Business

SNP Scottish Parliament candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has warned that a further run down of postal services could seriously jeopardise the chances of establishing internet based businesses in rural Scotland, and could damage those established businesses attempting to expand onto the internet.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Scottish Enterprise Grampian have advised me that they have assisted 130 businesses set up internet marketing. That is very welcome, but I am concerned that many of these developments could be at risk if there is a run down of postal services in rural areas.

“Whilst knowledge and information based businesses can thrive purely over the internet, those selling goods rely on the post or couriers to physically move their goods to their customers. For many businesses in rural Scotland the only courier is effectively the Post Office since the cost of courier services is too high, even if they will go to more remote areas. It is ironic, perhaps, that many twenty-first century electronic businesses can only survive with the good ‘old fashioned’ postal services.

“It is essential, therefore, that there is a reliable and consistent postal service in all parts of Scotland. That service is being seriously jeopardised by Postcomm’s privatisation proposals, which will inevitably lead to the end of the universal service obligation and universal tariff.”

Stewart Stevenson
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