Government must protect rural ATMs
SIR – MPs have recently debated the issue of access to cash machines in rural areas – a serious concern.
According to Which?, almost two thirds of Britain’s bank branches have disappeared in the last 30 years. Our research has shown that one quarter of people in villages live more than two and a half miles from their nearest machine. Close these, and one in 10 consumers say they would struggle to make payments.
The shortage of cash machines is most keenly felt in rural areas by older residents, who rely on local services, and by rural businesses battling to stay open.
The Prime Minister has said that Link, Britain’s cash machine network provider, is committed to maintaining its ATMs. But between January and July 2018, 250 free-touse ATMs closed each month, including 76 in rural areas.
Access to cash should not be a lottery based on where you live. The Government must put its money where its mouth is and ensure that there will be no further rural ATM closures. Graham Biggs
Chief Executive, Rural Services Network
Galloping to the rescue: a mobile banking facility in Broadway, Worcestershire