Council Objects to Removal of 28 BT Payphones

  • Following the latest BT payphone consultation, Central Bedfordshire Council received 95 responses regarding BT’s proposals to remove 29 public payphones, that they had identified as unnecessary across Central Bedfordshire. The Council will be informing BT of their objections.

As part of the process, the Council was required to undertake public consultation and to inform BT of the results. The consultation ran until 6 November enabling 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 that communities could also consider an alternative use for the phone box or kiosk.

The responses received revealed support for the Council’s 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 public service and the state of repair of some phones.

Based on the responses received, the Council’s Executive was asked to consider and agree to a response to BT. They agreed to object to the removal of 28 payphones and also confirmed support for the adoption of a payphone at Aspley Guise by the Parish Council.

Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Central Bedfordshire Councils Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, 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 their proposal to remove these payphones, along with our support of Aspley Parish Council with the adoption of one in their area.” 

If BT disagrees with any of the objections made by the council, it will ask to formally review those objections with the local authority and Ofcom will consider the decision on the proposed closure.