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Fears ATM closure will hit business.

Byline: ROZLYN LITTLE

ConCerns have been raised about the impact the closure of an ATM will have on businesses at a north-east shopping centre.

The royal Bank of scotland cash machine was shut down at Westhill shopping Centre on Monday.

It is hoped another ATM will be installed in the town in the future, however, no site has yet been chosen.

now councillors fear businesses at the centre on old skene road will lose out because the closest ATM is almost a mile away.

Westhill and District councillor ron McKail said a notice was put up to let customers know at the start of the week.

He said: "I have people ringing me up to say they didn't know about this.

"one would have thought they would have transferred the ATM first or relocated it.

"There will be people turning up all week to use that ATM and then realising its closed or go shopping somewhere else. The nearest ATMs are either Tesco or at the garage in elrick."

The rBs bank said other sites were being considered for a cash machine. However, Mr McKail fears the removal of the ATM will have an impact on businesses.

He said: "People go to the shopping centre, withdraw cash and go shopping there so there will be a drop in footfall for the businesses until they get this sorted.

"As it is now, people will turn up and be frustrated and annoyed they didn't know the ATM was closing. I thought rBs would have treated us a bit better."

And Councillor Iris Walker agreed that residents did not get much notice about it being removed.

she said: "There was an application in to change that shopfront and we understood that, if a new tenant came into that unit, they would probably want the cash machine moved out.

"We also knew there was a successful application for a new ATM beside Marks & spencer but it's just the timing of this.

"If we had more notice of the ATM being removed and if the new one had been placed first that would be much better."

Customers can use a mobile bank, which visits the Trinity Church on Mondays and Wednesdays, introduced after the bank closed its Westhill branch in 2017.

A spokesman for rBs said: "We are committed to providing access to cash in the area and are exploring other suitable sites to retain our ATM presence.

"We are working along with landlords, power and telecoms utilities to complete that as soon as possible."

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Cllr Ron McKail is concerned about Westhill's ATM closure Picture by Chris Sumner

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Author:ROZLYN LITTLE
Publication:Evening Express (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Date:Jan 24, 2020
Words:435
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