The rapid decline of cash machines in Wigan - just when folk need them most

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As the cost of living bites, many are quite literally counting their pennies and increasing their use of physical cash.

Meanwhile, cash machines are on the decline in Wigan borough.

Review and compare site for banks, The Grade, has drawn up a table from House of Commons Library data on the location of ATMs with ONS population and demographic data to highlight the lack of access to cash faced in many parts of the country.

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Members of the public using cash machines to manage their money.Members of the public using cash machines to manage their money.
Members of the public using cash machines to manage their money.

Their findings show that some areas of Greater Manchester are particularly badly affected, including Wigan.

Wigan has seen a 13 per cent drop in the number of “holes-in-the-wall” since 2018. This leaves just 7.6 free ATMs per 10,000 people and only 1.34 free ATMs per square kilometre.

There is a total of 110 cash machines in Wigan.

Makerfield has also seen a 13 per cent decrease in the number of ATMs since 2018, with just 3.7 free ones per 10,000 people, 0.66 free ones per square kilometre, and a total of 56 that are free to use in the area.

And Leigh has seen a 27 per cent fall in free ATMs in four years, leaving 5.2 per 10,000 people, 0.84 per square kilometre, and 80 that are free for the area.

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A spokesperson for The Grade, said: “There is a brewing crisis in access to cash for two major reasons.

"Firstly, as the cost of living crisis bites, cash use is back on the increase. Many Brits are finding it simpler to monitor and control their budgets by dealing in notes and coins.

"The Post Office, for example, reported that it handled £3.45bn in cash across its counters in August – the highest since its records began.“Secondly, many older and vulnerable people rely on cash.The report said: “Cash continues to be an important form of money for many – one in five people consider it to be their preferred payment method and 1.1 million people rely on it for their everyday spending. Even for those who may not use it day-to-day, cash remains an important back-up option.

“Cash remains a valued form of money for the elderly and those on lower incomes, with many using it to budget and manage their household finances.”

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