Hundreds support call to save Ponteland bank branch
A campaign to urge Lloyds to think again over plans to shut its branch in Ponteland is gathering momentum.
A ‘Stop the Closure’ online petition was set up on the change.org website by Ponteland resident Christine Caisley and it has now been signed by more than 500 people, whilst dozens of residents have put their name to the paper version of the petition.
She will soon be sending the details to senior officials at the bank and asking them to, at the very least, keep a presence in Ponteland by including it in the locations for its mobile van.
If the branch in Main Street closes on February 8 as planned, there will be no banks left open in the village.
Local MP Guy Opperman is supporting the call for Lloyds to reconsider its decision.
The bank has said that 78 per cent of its personal customers in Ponteland already use other branches and other ways to bank, such as online and telephone banking, and customers can continue to bank locally by visiting the nearby Post Office or go to the nearest alternative branch in Newburn.
Christine thanked all those who have signed the petition so far.
She added: “Some people have said there’s nothing we can do about this, but I felt it was worth protesting the decision to try to put some pressure on Lloyds.
“It’s disgraceful to ask customers who don’t do online banking to go to the Newburn branch when it’s not easily accessible by public transport.
“I recently went to Bellingham as the Lloyds Bank mobile van goes there and the residents I spoke to said it has been very useful, so surely there is capacity to offer customers in Ponteland this same level of banking provision and I will be making this point in my submission to Lloyds.
“Longer term, I hope a banking hub can be established as there are plenty of buildings in Ponteland that would be suitable for such a hub.”
Mr Opperman said: “Lloyds has seriously let down local people by closing the last bank branch in Ponteland.
“I’m extremely disappointed that the bank hasn’t been able to as yet come up with an alternative option that would retain physical banking in the community.”
Residents can add their name to the online petition at https://chng.it/6rVqsVjm