Victory for campaigners as Battle is set to get new cash machine

Paul Redstone and Huw Merriman welcoming the news in Battle today.
Paul Redstone and Huw Merriman welcoming the news in Battle today.

Battle MP Huw Merriman welcomed the announcement from cash machine provider LINK that a new cashpoint will soon be back on the high street in Battle.

Since the last free, 24/7 cashpoint left the town last autumn, residents have been without 24/7 access to cash which impacts traders, residents and visitors alike.

The announcement from LINK follows months of campaigning and lobbying by Mr Merriman, residents, local councillors and consumer group Which? to stop the halt of cashpoints leaving high streets across the country at a rate of 10 per day.

Last year, the Bexhill and Battle MP called for a law to put pressure on banks and building societies to provide every high street with communities of more than 5,000 people with a free 24/7 ATM when branches close.

Mr Merriman said: “This is really great news for Battle and I’m delighted with the response and cooperation we have had from LINK and consumer group Which? and our local media in getting a free 24/7 cashpoint back into Battle High Street.

“LINK’s commitment to getting a cashpoint back into every high street in the UK with funding from banks and building societies, who are closing many of their branches, is a fantastic response

to my call for legislation to make sure this happens.

“Thanks go to local campaigner Paul Redstone who has worked so hard for the local community on this, local councillors and the Battle Chamber of Commerce for the big part they also played in getting a cashpoint back into the heart of Battle town centre.”

Paul Redstone added: “I am delighted that the hard work of many of us in

the local community has delivered this result.

“This will give a real boost to our shops, restaurants and local residents.”

LINK announced its plan to bring a free-to-use ATM back to Battle on Thursday (August 29) as part of a new pilot.

The cash machine provider says it will be directly commissioning a new ATM in five communities with poor access to cash, including Battle, and from now, should a high street be threatened with the loss of an ATM or Post Office, LINK will step in to ensure that an ATM is made available and paid for with funding from all the UK’s main banks and building societies.

LINK CEO John Howells said: “LINK is determined to defend free access to cash across the UK in the face of very rapidly declining cash use. Today’s action will

protect consumers while much needed industry reforms to move to a more sustainable utility infrastructure take place.”