Stronger Communities

Consultation on payphone removal

We recently consulted on BT’s proposal to remove 80 public payphones in Central Bedfordshire. The results of the consultation were reported to the Executive Committee on 10 January where it made its Final Decision - to object to the removal of 37 of the 80 payphones BT proposed to remove and to agree to the removal of the remaining 43. We have informed BT and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport of its Final Decision.

We received 10 responses to the first consultation with town and parish councils, and 58 responses to the second consultation with the wider public. Key points raised from the consultation included a concern for elderly and vulnerable people, continued provision for phone boxes at accident hotspots and intermittent mobile phone signals particularly in rural areas. Suggestions were also put forward regarding the future use of kiosks, and the Executive Committee emphasised the importance of BT working with local communities to ensure redundant phone boxes can be put to good use – for example by housing community emergency defibrillators. These issues have been referred to BT with the Council’s Final Decision.

The Final Decision documentation with a full list of all of the payphones affected: