BARCLAYS Bank in Ledbury will be closed until late October, due to refurbishment; but for some customers the closure has come like a bolt from the blue.

One resident posted on social media that she had seen up to 15 people trying the bank's locked door, one after the other, and the closure has also led to hard questions about the number of cash machines currently in Ledbury.

Barclays has revealed that it contacted customers selectively and not every customer received a text massage about the closure, only customers judged to be the branch's "most frequent users".

And the bank says that because the closure is temporary, "no formal customer notification" was required in any case.

However, Barclays has pointed out that advice was available and posters were on display in the branch, in the Homend, for the past six weeks.

Adrian Davies, Community Banking Director for the region said “I can confirm that Ledbury branch closed for refurbishment on Friday September 15 and will remain closed until Monday October 23 as part of our continued investment to improve the customer experience.

"As this is a temporary closure, no formal customer notification is required; but we have been advising customers locally over the past six weeks, displayed posters in the branch, and we proactively reached out to our most frequent users via text messaging."

Posting on the Ledbury Reporter Facebook site, Tracey Cartmell said: " I was not informed, but I'm just grateful however that we will still have a branch in the town centre."

But resident Justine Clayton, posting on the Voice of Ledbury said: "I really only use the building to put cash into my account nowadays, most of my banking is done online, but they could have at least sent me an email to let me know so I didn't have a wasted journey.

"Being disabled can make a trip into town extremely exhausting so I only go to that end of town if I really need to."

Sandy Wisby said the closure made "life a hassle" and she added: " I certainly had no text or letter and I have banked with Barclays for 40 years. I'm not impressed at all."

A significant number of customers welcomed the refurbishment.

Paul Hill said: " I was sent a text from Barclays, explaining what was happening. I am more than happy with their service."

Claire Collins said: " It's no inconvenience at all. I received notification by text and information has been available in-branch for ages. The refurbishment is overdue."

However the impact of Barclays closed ATM is already being felt.

Homend trader and town councillor, Annette Crowe said: "At the weekend there were no ATMs with money in Ledbury. Barclays was not working and Lloyd's ATM has no money. Finally, I got some at the Co-op ATM."

And resident Louise Sewell said: "I think the Barclays cash point should have remained open as Natwest is now gone and Lloyds has been running out quite frequently."

Alan Cornish said: "This doesn't just impact Barclay's customers. Following the loss of HSBC and Natwest cashpoints in town are at a bare minimum."