People living in north Oxford have called for a new post office to be opened up in a building previously occupied by a bank.
Lloyds Bank at 201 Banbury Road in Summertown closed on Thursday (July 21).
The branch closed down as part of a mass closure across the country by the bank’s parent company, Lloyds Banking Group.
A decision to close the branch was made after the number of customers using online banking reached an all-time high this year, the banking group said.
Workers removed the Lloyds signage yesterday (July 22)
The closure comes as the area’s post office, also based on Banbury Road, will close down alongside the Co-op in which it is housed at the end of September.
This is due to it “not fitting with the long-term strategy” of Midcounties Co-operative, a spokesperson for the company said.
Both of these closures mean that by the autumn people living in north Oxford will have lost a majority of their in-person banking services.
Back in April, news of the post office closure was described by people living in the area as “terrible” and a “disaster”.
The sign placed inside the now closed bank
The Oxford Mail has now approached people in the community to see what they wanted to move into the empty bank building.
Overwhelmingly, people called for a new post office branch to replace the one which will close down.
Resident Chris Trengove pointed out that 30 years ago Summertown had four post offices, comprised of a full service branch and outlets within three shops.
Alongside a post office, Linda Perks would like to see an “old fashioned DIY store” which would sell “everything” people need.
She explained that it is difficult to get to DIY stores on Oxford’s retail parks if you do not drive.
Rosemary Savin, on the other hand, noted what she would not like to see – namely a new cafe or gym.
Rebecca Nestor thought a community space would be perfect in the old bank.
A majority of residents wish to see a post office in Summertown
In a similar way, Emily Cleaver and Susannah McLaren would both like it to become a community workspace, for “those wanting a break from the isolation of working from home”.
Gareth Steele wants to see an estate agents move into the building, or – unlike most people – another café.
Vim Maru, group retail director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Just like many other high street businesses, fewer customers are choosing to visit our branches.
“Our branch network is an important way for us to support our customers, but we need to adapt to the significant growth in customers choosing to do most of their everyday banking online.”
This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.
You can get in touch with her by emailing: email@example.com
Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry
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