Bank customers have slammed a decision to close a Suffolk branch as 'disgusting' and a 'tragedy' ahead of a protest rally on today.

The regular visitors to the Barclays Bank in Main Street, Leiston spoke of their concerns they would have to travel 26 miles to Ipswich - or 24 miles to Lowestoft - to do their banking after Barclays announced the Leiston branch would close on May 17.

A protest is set to be held outside the Main Street premises on Saturday February 10 between 9.30am and 10.30am as residents fight to keep the branch open.

READ MORE: Leiston to be left with no bank as Barclays to close down

East Anglian Daily Times: Tim Baskett was concerned about the prospect of having to travel from Leiston to Ipswich to do his bankingTim Baskett was concerned about the prospect of having to travel from Leiston to Ipswich to do his banking (Image: Submitted)Customer Tim Baskett, 30, who has cerebral palsy, which restricts mobility, said he would need help to travel from Leiston to Ipswich, while the nearest car park was a mile away from the Ipswich branch.

In addition, he was concerned about his safety moving across Ipswich with large amounts of cash.

READ MORE: Petition to save the Leiston branch has been signed by 71

He said: “The Ipswich branch is a mile from the nearest car park and to be honest, I wouldn’t want to go across Ipswich with a lot of cash on me.

"Ipswich isn’t a safe place and a lot of older, vulnerable people will be in the same position as me.

"I think it’s disgraceful they are closing the Leiston branch. There’s lots of loyal Barclays customers in Leiston and the surrounding areas and I’d like to see the branch stay open for us all.”

READ MORE: Therese Coffey launched the petition to save the Leiston bank

Leiston resident Bernice Stocks, who used to run the burger stall at Stocks Fun Fairs, has been a Barclays customer for 45 years.

She said: "The closure is a step too far. They have closed all the branches in the area. The thing I value most about having a local branch is being able to speak to a real person and soon, I won’t be able to do that.

"As one customer, I don’t feel like I have a say in this, but I’ll be outside the bank on Saturday morning to ensure my protest against this closure is heard.”

READ MORE: Leiston news

Erik Duckworth, 89, from Saxmundham, has been a Barclays resident for 70 years, but does not use a mobile phone or do his banking online.

He said: "For the most part, I can probably get by with using a hole-in-the-wall for most of my daily banking needs, but it’s when things go wrong or you need to do more than the basics and you need to speak to someone that it all falls down.

"It really is a tragedy they are closing the Leiston branch and I have every sympathy with those severely affected by it. Barclays are just making it more difficult to bank with them.”

READ MORE: Suffolk news