Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

We've objected to removal of 28 BT payphones

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Following the latest BT payphone consultation, we received 95 responses regarding BT’s proposals to remove 29 public payphones, that they have identified as unnecessary.

As part of the process, we were required to undertake a public consultation on the payphones and to inform BT of the results. The consultation, which ran until 6 November, asked residents to comment on whether they agreed or objected to the proposals.

The consultation included information regarding BT’s ‘adopt a phone box’ scheme, so communities could also consider an alternative use for the phone box or kiosk.

The responses received revealed support for our decision to object to the removal of all 29 payphones, as well as a number of general comments expressing overall concern about the removal of a public service and the state of repair of some phones.

Based on the responses received, our Executive Committee was asked to consider and agree a response to BT. It agreed to object to the removal of 28 payphones and confirmed support for the adoption of a payphone at Aspley Guise by the parish council.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, our Executive Member for Community Services, said:

We have listened and reviewed all of the comments provided to us during the consultation by the public and town and parish councils. We have also been looking at a number of other factors including usage of the payphones and housing deprivation around where they are located.

The number of responses for each payphone was relatively small, however there is general support for retaining the boxes in our towns and villages – either as phone boxes or adopting them for community use.

The payphones might not get used as much as they used to, but it’s useful to have them for emergencies, especially for older residents who might not have a mobile phone or for those who find themselves with no signal.

We will be informing BT of our objections to its proposal to remove these payphones, along with our support of Aspley Guise Parish Council with the adoption of one in its area.

If BT disagrees with any of our objections, it will ask to formally review the objections with us. Ofcom will then consider the decision on the proposed closure.