Highland Council urges communities to speak up to save public payphone
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Highland Council is seeking final feedback from the public on BT’s proposal to remove 107 public payphones from across the Highlands.
This second phase of the consultation will run until October 10.
Regulation set out by Ofcom, the independent communications regulator, states the council has the responsibility to co-ordinate a response to BT.
Following 116 responses to the first phase of the consultation, an initial summary of this feedback has been published online at the local authority's website for further comment.
The council is encouraging members of the public to look at BT’s proposals and comment, giving as much information as possible about the public call boxes which have been proposed for removal.
Following the end of the consultation, a final notice of decision will be published which will outline the local authority's position on the proposed removals.
Council leader Margaret Davidson, said: “I would like to encourage members of the public to respond to the consultation.
"People living in the areas of proposed closures are in the best position to know the impact removal of a payphone would have on them and their community.
"There are important reasons around public safety for retaining a payphone in some areas.
"Reasons for objecting to the removal of the payphones can include poor mobile phone coverage at accident blackspots, or marine and mountainous areas where safety is a concern.”
“The council is extremely disappointed that BT have decided to issue another consultation on removal of payphones, less than a year after the conclusion of the last consultation. A total of 52 of the 2019 consultation payphones have been included again.
"I would therefore urge the community to respond and provide their feedback on local need. Safety and not financial considerations have to be the top priority and the BT payphone network is a lifeline service for many.
"Many areas in the Highlands are without mobile phone coverage and not everyone has access to a mobile phone.”
More details on the consultation can be found here .