North Oxford residents want post office in old bank building

Residents of North Oxford have called for a new post office to be opened in a building previously occupied by a bank.

Lloyds Bank at 201 Banbury Road in Summertown closed Thursday (July 21).

The branch closed as part of a massive nationwide shutdown by the bank’s parent company, Lloyds Banking Group.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Lloyds Bank of Oxford closes forever

The decision to close the branch was taken after the number of customers using online banking reached an all-time high this year, the banking group said.

Workers removed Lloyds signage yesterday (July 22)

The closure comes as the area post office, also based on Banbury Road, will close alongside the co-op it is in at the end of September.

This is because it “does not fit the long-term strategy” of Midcounties Co-operative, a company spokesperson said.

Both of these closures mean that by autumn residents of North Oxford will have lost the majority of their in-person banking services.

In April, news of the post office closing was described by locals as “terrible” and a “disaster”.

Oxford Mail: The sign placed inside the now closed bankThe sign placed inside the now closed bank

The Oxford Mail has now approached people in the community to see what they want to move into the empty bank building.

The vast majority of people have called for a new postal agency to replace the one that will close.

Resident Chris Trengove pointed out that 30 years ago Summertown had four post offices, including a full-service branch and outlets in three stores.

Next to a post office, Linda Perks would like to see an “old fashioned DIY store” that would sell “everything” people need.

She explained that it’s hard to get to DIY stores in Oxford’s business parks if you’re not driving.

Rosemary Savin, meanwhile, noted what she wouldn’t like to see, namely a new cafe or a new gym.

Rebecca Nestor thought a community space would be perfect in the old bank.

Oxford Mail: A majority of residents want to see a post office in SummertownA majority of residents want to see a post office in Summertown

READ MORE: Oxford area to lose majority of banking services by fall

Similarly, both Emily Cleaver and Susannah McLaren would like it to become a community workspace, for “those who want to break the isolation of working from home“.

Gareth Steele wants to see a real estate agent move into the building or, unlike most people, another cafe.

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 the number of customers who choose to do most of their day-to-day banking online.”

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can contact her by email: [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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