COUNCILLORS are meeting tonight (Wednesday) to find a quick solution to the town’s cash point crisis, which led to potential visitors to the resort being advised on national radio not to visit Lyme Regis because there was nowhere to park and no way of getting cash.
The advice came from an angry visitor who told BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show, which attracts millions of listeners, to forget about visiting Lyme Regis over half term.
The lack of an ATM cash dispenser in the main street has been caused by the closure of the town’s three banks – HSBC, NatWest and Lloyds – and the dispenser outside Tesco being out of order for two weeks.
It is rumoured that the Tesco ATM has been cloned but the supermarket’s press department would not confirm this following enquiries by the View from Lyme Regis.
Instead, a Tesco spokesperson said: “We apologise to customers who are inconvenienced by this ATM being out of service. We’ve identified the fault with this machine and are working to restore service as soon as possible.”
Town councillors, already under the cosh because there was no park and ride facilities nor ladies’ toilets on the seafront over the Bank Holiday and half term period, have been pulling out the stops to solve the issue.
At tonight’s meeting of the Town Management & Highways Committee, a report concedes that the lack of ATM’s in the town has been “the subject of much discussion”.
Councillors have been informed that the latest position is as follows:
- The existing RBS ATM at Tesco will be replaced shortly with a new machine;
- Tesco will offer cash-back in future for customers;
- A second supermarket (The Co-operative) is considering at regional level whether to install a free-to-use ATM in its store, in addition to the existing cash-back for customers;
- A Broad Street cafe is in discussions with a ATM provider about have a free-to-use machine on its frontage;
- A shop in the Cobb area is close to finalising an upgrade from an in-store chargeable machine to an extremely accessible and free-to-use ATM;
- The town council has had discussions with the largest operator of ATMs about the possible installation of a free-to-use machine in the frontage of the Jubilee Pavilion but this is unlikely to be pursued if the various other machines referred to above come forward.
Cash is available at no charge at the Post Office in Broad Street.