Council delight at reprieve for 151 Highland Payphones
The Highland Council is delighted that BT has reponded to Council and community objections and retained 151 payphones proposed for removal in the Highlands. The reprieve was revealed by Council Convener Sandy Park at today’s Council meeting at Inverness.
Councillor Park paid tribute to communities for highlighting their concern at the potential loss of their local payphone and praised Council staff for presenting such a compelling case to BT. And he thanked BT for taking on board the objections and responding so positively.
In making its final response to BT, the Council collated comments from community councils, community and voluntary groups, the police and individual members of the public.
It maintained that the rurality of the area and remoteness of many of the communities meant that it was vital to maintain lifeline communications such as payphones within the area. Many of the phones earmarked for closures were located in areas where there was no mobile phone signal.
Councillor Park said: “We want to thank Highland communities for the strong representations they made to this consultation. Rural service provision is an important issue for the Highlands and the Council is pleased that this has been recognised by BT with their response.”
BT proposed to close a total of 192 payphones. The Council did not object to to the closure of 41 payphones, which will now be removed.
The final response to BT for the Highlands can be found on the homepage of the Council’s website – www.www.highland.gov.uk