SHAW councillor Howard Sykes is seeking reassurances that access to local ATM machines will continue as the end of traditional banking services in Shaw and Crompton draws near.
In January 2019, the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Shaw will close its doors, following in the footsteps of Barclays Bank on Market Street which shut in September.
Lloyds Bank in Royton also closed in September while Yorkshire Bank, also on Market Street in Shaw, shut in August 2016 because it had become “unsustainable”.
Now, Cllr Sykes, Leader of the Opposition and the Liberal Democrat Group on Oldham Council, has written to the Chairman and Head of Consumer Affairs at the LINK organisation seeking reassurances of access to a network of local ATM machines, especially during busy bank holiday and holiday weekends.
He said: “We have already lost cash machines at the Yorkshire and Barclays Banks and at Martins Newsagents with the closure of these outlets.
“Liberal Democrat Councillors have sought to put pressure on the Royal Bank of Scotland to retain the cash point at the old branch when it closes in the new year, but they have only so far committed to maintain the machine outside the Tesco supermarket on Market Street.
“We estimate that we have suffered a net loss of at least two machines, and the Royal Bank of Scotland closure will represent a third.”
He added: “An additional problem is that during busy bank holiday weekends, cash machines are only replenished, at the latest, the Friday before, and people report real difficulty in accessing their cash as the weekend goes on.
“These machines are not refilled until the following Tuesday.
“So not only will my constituents soon be unable to go into a high street bank, but they are more than likely to be unable to access cash from a high street cash point at the times when they most need it.”
Cllr Sykes has written to LINK senior staff seeking their assurance that efforts will be made to persuade the Royal Bank of Scotland to at least retain the cash machine at the branch once it closes.
He also asks that LINK partners will replenish properly those local machines for which they are responsible in time for busy weekends.
And he requests they explore whether further ATM machines can be installed in parts of Crompton and Shaw that are not well served, or indeed served at all, by cash points.
With the closure of the banks, options for locals include the use of NatWest branches in Oldham (2.82 miles away), Rochdale (4.26 miles away) and Hollinwood (4.5 miles away).
A number of services are also available at Shaw Post Office, Higher Crompton Post Office and Heyside Post Office.