BARCLAYS bank customers in Bexleyheath have launched a petition to save their nearest branch from closing.

More than 2,500 homeowners got behind a petition to stop the bank in Pickford Lane from closing its doors for good on November 23.

The petition was launched by staff at Vel’s Barbers opposite the bank and hairdresser Sarah Dyer has been urging customers to sign it for the past two months.

The 37-year-old, who lives in nearby Rydal Drive, said: "We get our change from the bank every day "A lot of our customers feel safer using the cash point inside rather than hovering around on the street.

"There is no post office here anymore so it’s just the bank now.

"The nearest Barclays is in Bexleyheath and there are two of them there so it would make more sense to close one of them."

Mrs Dyer, who has worked in Vel’s Barbers for seven-years, added: "It’s really important for the older pensioners as they come along and do their banking in there.

"For us as a business we thought we were being selfish to begin with.

"But when I looked at the bigger picture we realised it will affect a lot of different people and residents and other small businesses here."

Mrs Dyer’s boss has arranged a meeting with six Barclays bosses and other nearby businesses tomorrow (October 18) where he will present the petition.

A Barclays spokesman said: "The decision to close our Pickford Lane branch has not been taken lightly and we appreciate that it may cause some inconvenience.

"We will work hard to minimise the impact on customers and will help them with the change to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

"One alternative to the branch is the arrangement we have in place in which personal customers are able to pay in and take out cash, free of charge at the local post office, the nearest of which are at 145 Long Lane, Bexleyheath and 50 Wrotham Road, Welling."

There will be no redundancies, with all staff being offered jobs at nearby branches.