Carnforth councillors seek assurances over future support for Barclays customers

Members of Carnforth Town Council met with representatives of Barclays Bank this week amid concerns over the planned closure of the town's branch.

As we reported last month, the bank is expected to close in October, but residents and councillors alike have raised concerns.

The council said the news was a “body blow” not only to local businesses but also to the many elderly and disadvantaged residents, from Carnforth and from surrounding villages, who do not have access to internet banking.

Concerns have been raised by residents over access for disabled customers.

Barclays in Carnforth. Photo: Google Street View

One said the Carnforth branch has disabled parking "on the doorstep" and the branch is small and flat.

In contrast, the Lancaster branch - which would be the nearest once Carnforth closes - has few disabled parking spaces nearby and is in the centre of a pedestrianised zone with no public transport nearby.

More than a thousand people have signed a petition against the closure.

Barclays say there has been a significant drop in footfall, with the vast majority of customers now doing their banking online.

They claim just 41 regular customers use the Carnforth branch exclusively for banking and do not interact with the bank in other ways.

There’s been a 34 per cent reduction in counter transactions in the last two years, while 85 per cent of customers also use bank via different methods.

Council bosses have now sought assurances regarding the ongoing support that would be available for bank customers.

Barclays say they will remain active in the community and are currently looking for a suitable location where staff can still support customers who still require a face-to-face service.

A council spokesman said: "Carnforth Town Council has had a constructive meeting this week with representatives of Barclays Bank concerning the proposed closure of the Carnforth branch scheduled for October 12.

"In light of the level of public opposition to the news that the proposed closure has generated, assurances were sought regarding the ongoing support that would be available for bank customers and Barclays stated desire to maintain a presence in the community.

"It is hoped that a definitive statement of intent regarding the shape and nature of future provision of their services will be available from Barclays shortly."