GROUPS fighting for a second 24-hour cash machine in Uppingham have welcomed plans by BT to install one in a phonebox.
Uppingham Town Council, Uppingham Town Partnership and Uppingham First have been campaigning to get another cash machine in the town since HSBC closed its branch in the Market Place in July.
The groups have welcomed the news that BT has submitted a planning application to Rutland County Council to install a cash machine in the phonebox in the Market Place, next to Blossom florist. The phone will remain in the box.
Uppingham mayor Dave Casewell said: “We were aware of the application and councillor Dave Ainslie has worked very hard, initially with HSBC and then BT, to make sure a cash machine was returned to the market square.
“We are all very pleased with this solution to put it in the phone box and we will be even more pleased when the application has been approved and the cash machine is in place.”
Coun Casewell said the cash machine would be easy to install in the phone box once permission had been given. He said it would be provided by Link but be free to use.
There is another 24-hour cash machine at Barclays in High Street West. There is also a machine in One Stop in High Street West and in Martin’s newsagents in High Street East.
But Coun Casewell said since the closure of HSBC, there had been a “noticeable growth” in the queue to use the cash machine at Barclays.
He said: “There is a longer queue now at Barclays but I suspect that is mostly visitors to the town who wouldn’t know there are any in the shops.
“We are hoping that the new one in the market square will be sufficiently visible so visitors know where they can get money out.”
A BT spokesman said: “BT is delighted to be planning a combined payphone and ATM in a single kiosk for Uppingham.
“We are always looking at ways to make our nationwide network of kiosks more relevant and useful to the community they serve and we believe this plan will benefit the local residents and businesses alike.”
HSBC had pledged to work with the groups to find an alternative location for a permanent cash machine, after it decided to close the branch because of a decline in use due to internet and phone banking.
The bank is not involved in the application but is aware of it.