'Delight' as town gets 24-hour ATM two years after last bank closure
- Credit: LINK/Phil Barnes Photography
A market town community will now have access to a cashpoint around the clock with the long-awaited unveiling of a new ATM.
Since the closure of Lloyds in 2018, people in Bungay had just one free, but not 24/7, ATM - located inside the McColl's store on St Mary's Street, which will be closing its doors in January.
Bungay Town Council, backed by Waveney MP Peter Aldous, have been working with LINK, the UK's main ATM network as part of a new pilot project which will see 50 sites across the UK to protect free access to cash for every high street.
On Friday, the site, at the council office on Broad Street, was officially opened.
Ian Vernon, head of commercial initiatives for LINK, said: "We are delighted to be able to support Bungay by providing funding for the installation of a new ATM by Cardtronics within the council office.
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"It was very clear from my first visit, when I met with a number of local representatives, that this machine will be important for residents and visitors.
"Despite a reduction in cash usage recently, it remains vital to maintain free access to cash wherever it is required and LINK are committed to doing so.
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"We would welcome requests from other communities who do not have free access to cash."
Mr Aldous had previously raised the issue with treasury minister John Glen, highlighting the difficulties for locals and tourists of not having a cashpoint in a market town.
He said: "It's great news that there is now a 24/7, free-to-use ATM back in the centre of Bungay and special thanks should go to LINK for arranging and installing the cashpoint, and Bungay Town Council for hosting it at the Town Hall.
"Cash is vitally important to so many people, including the elderly and those having to manage a tight budget, and research shows during the pandemic in the Waveney area there has not been as significant a reduction in cash withdrawals as there has been in other areas.
"The ATM will play an important role in the town's post-Covid recovery."
Marc Terry, international managing director for Cardtronics, said: "Access to cash is a vital local utility and we are delighted to be working with LINK to provide this machine for the people of Bungay."