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More than half on UK staycations ‘have struggled to access cash’

By Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent

More than half of people have struggled to find a bank or ATM when taking a “staycation” in the UK, a survey has found.

Some 57% of people said this was the case when they took a UK-based holiday, according to the Post Office.

Nearly a fifth (18%) said this had happened in the past six months.

And 53% said they had visited a retailer in the UK which only accepted cash payments in the past year.

A lack of access to cash led to over a quarter (27%) of people on staycations being unable to buy small gifts or souvenirs from cash-only retailers such as markets or traders.

A further 32% had been unable to treat themselves or their families at food outlets, the survey of more than 2,000 people found.

And 21% had problems with travel plans such as missed buses, trains and not being able to pay for car park tickets because of a lack of easy access to cash.

Bank branch and ATM closures have increased concerns about access to cash.

The Post Office, which has more than 11,500 branches across the UK, provides access to fee-free cash withdrawals in towns and villages where banks no longer exist.

Postmistress Carol Starkey, from Wells-next-the Sea Post Office in Norfolk, said: “The peak summer months are particularly busy for us with more and more people visiting to withdraw cash.”

Martin Kearsley, banking services director, Post Office, said: “Our research showed that in the last year more than a quarter of people across the UK (28%) have withdrawn cash at a Post Office branch.

People looking to withdraw cash while on a staycation can now find information on their nearest Post Office branch or ATM using Link’s ATM finder, which recently added the Post Office branches to its ATM locator app or at finder.