Access to cash is especially important for people living outside of cities. Our guest author Stella Hurley describes what happened when her local ATM shut.
This is a guest post by Stella Hurley. All views expressed are Stella’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.
I live in a village called Saltford, located between Bath and Bristol. A few months ago my only local cashpoint was closed.
The ATM closure made life hard for me, but especially difficult for my neighbours who have mobility issues. Overnight they had to travel much further just to access cash they need to pay for local goods and services.
The village Post Office is in the local library, but it’s only open between 10:30am and 2:30pm.
Last year, Stella's village lost its only ATM — and now residents must walk 30-minutes for 24-hour access to cash.
For Stella it's an inconvenience — for disabled residents, life is far more difficult.
— Which? (@WhichUK) April 17, 2019
There are a lot of retired and disabled people in my village who would find it really difficult if that shut down. It’s the last lifeline for access to cash in our village.
Our village used to have a couple of banks. We’re lucky to still have the Post Office, which wouldn’t be available if it weren’t for the many volunteers who are keeping it going. But because it’s run by volunteers, its hours are more restrictive.
Those who can’t drive to access the banks in the nearby town have quite limited access to cash.
I help out my neighbour across the road with shopping who is disabled and she pays me back in cash. But she finds it very difficult to get cash because she doesn’t drive anymore. She is a bit trapped in the village.
All the small things
Life would just be a lot easier for everyone if the village ATM hadn’t shut down.
I used to be able to just walk up the road and take out cash in our village at any time. Now I have to plan everything in advance.
I take French classes and pay for those in cash, coffees here and there and going to the pub on a Friday as well. I do use contactless here and there, but tend to use cash for all the small things.
It doesn’t feel like residents of the village were considered before our ATM was taken away, and our access to cash was severely restricted.
This was a guest post by Stella Hurley. All views expressed were Stella’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.
Has an ATM shut down near you affecting your access to cash? Do you think the area you live will have an impact on your easy access to a cash machine?