Gov­ern­ment must pro­tect ru­ral ATMs

The Sunday Telegraph - - Letters to the editor -

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

Tav­i­s­tock, Devon

Gal­lop­ing to the res­cue: a mo­bile bank­ing fa­cil­ity in Broad­way, Worces­ter­shire

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