A CAMPAIGN aiming to stop the closure of a Lloyds branch has been backed by the local MP.

Lloyds announced plans to close a total of 48 bank branches nationally earlier this year, including one in Ponteland.

Both NatWest and Barclays have left the town in recent years, leaving Lloyds as the only bank remaining there.

Lloyds have said that customers can use the branch in Newburn, but residents have argued this is over an hour away by public transport.

Local Ponteland resident, Christine Caisley, has set up a petition asking the bank to reconsider their decision.

It has been signed by more than 460 people so far.

Ms Caisley said: “I have to do this as a concerned resident, who is shocked Lloyds are prepared to close this only remaining bank in Ponteland.

“Lloyds say 'By your side' in their advertisement slogan. That’s a joke.”

Guy Opperman MP has backed the campaign and is urging people to sign the petition.

He said: “Lloyds have seriously let down local people by closing the last bank branch in Ponteland. I am extremely disappointed that the bank hasn’t been able to come up with an alternative option that would safeguard access to cash and retain physical banking in the community.

“I will continue to fight hard for community banking facilities across Tynedale and Ponteland. Please add your name to Christine’s petition – we must save this branch!’’

Vicar of Ponteland, Capt Rev Paul Allinson, said: “I would like to support this very important campaign to allow the resource of Lloyds Bank to remain within the heart of our community.

“There are many people in this area who need the resources and facilities of this very important bank to support them in their daily lives.”

A Lloyds Bank spokesperson said: “We have made the decision to close our Ponteland branch on February 8, 2022 due to the changing ways customers choose to bank with us, which means the branch is being used less often.

“Customers can continue to bank locally by visiting the nearby post office, which is less than half a mile from the branch.”

Local people can sign Christine Caisley’s petition by visiting https://chng.it/6rVqsVjm