SANQUHAR’S Conservative MP has complained to the Chancellor about the decline of free ATM machines within rural areas.

David Mundell MP has renewed his calls for an end to a decline in free-to-use cash dispensers, saying that they cause real hardship within the area

He has been a long-time campaigner against the trend which has impacted on his largely rural Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale constituency.

Mr Mundell has joined 15 other MPs in endorsing a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on the issue.

They highlighted the fact that the majority of consumers still use cash regularly and sought measures to ensure guaranteed long-term national access to cash.

Mr Mundell this week pointed out that in his constituency, and nationally, access to cash remained essential for individuals, families and businesses.

He said: “A reduction in the number of dispensers has caused real hardship and added expense because of the distance some of my constituents have to travel to reach a machine.

“In some cases they then face transaction charges to access their own money.

“All this has happened at a time when bank branches have been closed -- along with their own dispensers.

“I fully support calls for government intervention to encourage a reliable free-to-use national network of cash machines.”

The national campaign is backed by such groups as the Association of Convenience Stores, British Retail Consortium, Federation of Small Businesses, Positive Money and Responsible Finance.