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B T Payphone Removal Consultation (04/06/08)
The Highland Council has today (Wednesday) published on the Council’s website an Initial Response (PDF) to BT’s payphone consultation across the Highland area. BT wishes to remove 194 payphones across the Highlands. Under guidelines published by Ofcom, the independent regulator, The Highland Council has the responsibility of co-ordinating the response to BT.
The initial response that is published is based upon responses received from the public up until 5pm on Friday 30 May.
The Council is encouraging members of the public to look at BT’s proposals and the Initial Response published today and to comment further. Responses will be taken up until 5pm on Friday 1 August.
Council Vice Convener Councillor Jean Urquhart, whose Ward has 46 of the proposed payphones for removal, said: “I would like to encourage members of the public to respond to the consultation. They are in the best position to know the impact the removal of a payphone would have. Many of the responses received to date have come from the public and have highlighted areas with poor mobile phone coverage, accident blackspots, and areas of significance from a marine or mountain safety point of view, all of which are important reasons for retaining a payphone in the area.
“The basis for BT’s proposals appears to be financial and the growth of mobile phone usage. It is entirely unacceptable that in many cases this has been enforced reduction due to BT converting many of Highland’s payphones to cashless facilities. Within a remote and rural area safety has 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.“
Comments will be taken up until 5pm on Friday 1st August and should be made in writing or by email to: Alison Clark, Policy Officer, Chief Executive’s Office, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness IV3 5NX. Alison.email@example.com