Campaigners call for U-turn on closure of Houghton Regis Natwest branch

Linda Horn has gained almost 550 signatures for her petition
Linda Horn has gained almost 550 signatures for her petition

Hundreds of shoppers have signed a petition which calls on Natwest to make a U-turn on the planned closure of its Houghton Regis branch.

Customers have been told that the Bedford Square bank will close on November 18 due to declining footfall,

Mrs Horn said that news of the impending closure has distressed vulnerable customers

Mrs Horn said that news of the impending closure has distressed vulnerable customers

Natwest says that the number of transactions carried out at the branch has dropped by 34% since 2011 and that it attracts just 59 customers on a regular weekly basis.

The bank has put the fall down to the rising number of customers who use mobile and internet banking.

However critics of the closure say that the bank is needed by elderly and disabled customers who cannot travel to the next nearest branch in Dunstable.

Linda Horn, 66, set up camp outside the branch last week to invite shoppers to sign her petition against the move.

At the time of going to press the petition had 546 signatories.

Mrs Horn told the Gazette: “We were amazed at the number of disabled and elderly people who were really distressed by this as they can’t get to Dunstable.

“Because of their generation these are also they people who don’t have the ability to use the internet or mobile apps.

“I am not comfortable with internet banking, I want to do my banking in person.”

A Natwest spokeswoman said that the decision to close the Houghton Regis branch had been ‘difficult’.