A CAMPAIGN which launched as a last-ditch attempt to save a town’s last remaining bank has been unsuccessful – sparking a fresh wave of fury from angry locals who now face a 12-mile round trip.
Yorkshire Building Society has confirmed it is to close its Penistone branch on February 5, despite a 300-signature petition launching when news about the proposal broke.
Customers have been told to use the Barnsley town centre branch instead, an ‘impossible request’ for many elderly and vulnerable residents who might not drive and rely on poor public transport links.
Barnsley town centre’s branch, on Cheapside, is a six-mile journey, with Mapplewell and Honley’s even further.
Coun Hannah Kitching said: “I am sad to report that I have had confirmation from YBS that they intend to close the Penistone branch on February 5, 2021.
“In response to this, I have now submitted our petition, which has over 300 signatures. This is a great response which shows the strength of feeling among residents.
“Some of these signatories will be YBS customers, some will be signing on behalf of an elderly or disabled friend or relative who has been unable to do so and some will simply be signing because they wish to see this facility remain on Penistone High Street for the benefit of others.
“Customers have also asked if the closure could be delayed beyond February to allow people to make alternative arrangements.
“We are in a period of high tier restrictions and these are difficult circumstances for many people.
“Penistone has a larger-than-average population of elderly residents, many of whom rely on being able to manage their daily business within the town without having to travel further afield.
“The current Covid-19 crisis is further contributing to people’s distress and anxiety about these proposals and they are rightly attempting to avoid public transport.
“Clearly, ‘get a bus into Barnsley’ is not a reasonable suggestion for many.”