BT consult on removal of telephone boxes

British Telecommunications plc

Programme of intended public payphone removals

Opened: 28 June 2019
Closes: 26 September 2019

Dear Chief Planning Officer,

Further to our previous letter, we are writing to you as part of a formal consultation process regarding our current programme of intended public payphone removals. This letter formally starts our consultation with you and the local community.

There are currently 11 public payphones in your area [Borough of Ashford] which have been identified and proposed for removal by BT under the 90-day consultation process and details of these payphones are shown below.

To ensure that the local community are fully informed, we have placed consultation notices on the relevant payphones,and a sample notice is enclosed. We have also included the date we posted these notices on
the payphones. The consultation period will close on 26 September 2019. Unless you contact us to agree otherwise, responses received after this date will not be accepted.

This consultation process gives your local communities the opportunity to adopt a traditional red ‘heritage’ phone box and make them an asset that local people can enjoy. It’s really simple to do and it costs just £1-
http://bt.com/adopt

Overall use of payphones has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is diminishing all the time, with at least 98 percent of the UK having either 3G or 4G coverage. This is important because as long as there is network coverage, it’s now possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no credit or no coverage from your own mobile provider.

You may also want to consider the recent Ofcom affordability report which found that most people do not view payphones as essential for most consumers in most circumstances –
https://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/affordability/affordability_report.pdf

On the 14th March 2006 the Office of Communications (Ofcom) published a statement following their 2005 review of universal service in the Telecommunications market, which includes a requirement for payphone
provision to meet reasonable needs. Part of that statement amended our obligations with regard to the removal of payphone service
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/34266/statement.pdf
As stated in Ofcom’s 2005 review,it is the responsibility of the local authority to initiate its own consultation process to canvas the views of the local community. They would normally expect these consultations to involve other public organisations such as the Parish or Community councils and work within the terms of the Communications Act 2003. This means that you must be able to objectively justify your decisions.

Full guidance on the removal process can be viewed at:
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/uso/statement/removals.pdf
and a summary is available at:
https://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/uso/statement/removing_callboxes.pdf
The guidance also details the appeals process we must follow in case of unreasonable objections.

To comment

To respond to this consultation comment via the Ashford Borough Council planning website:
Case Ref: 19/00971/AS
https://planning.ashford.gov.uk/Planning/details.aspx?systemkey=112888

Telephone NumberAddressPost CodeNumber of calls in last 12 monthsPosting Completed Date
101227 730243JCN SOLESHILL RD PCOl SOLESHILL ROAD SHOTTENDEN CANTERBURYCT4 8JR024/06/2019
201227 730327O/S VILLAGE HALL LONG HILL PCOl LOWER LEES ROAD OLD
WIVES LEES CANTERBURY
CT4 8AS 124/06/2019
301233 503787ADJ BUS LAYBY PCOl MOATFIELD MEADOW KINGSNORTH
ASHFORD
TN23 3LU1725/06/2019
401233 632569O/S POST OFFICE GREAT CHART PCOl THE STREET GREAT
CHART ASHFORD
TN23 3AN 325/06/2019
501233 642908JCN LENACRE ST PCOl SANDYHURST LANE ASHFORDTN25 4PF025/06/2019
601233 643156JCN MAYPITS PCOl BEAVER LANE ASHFORDTN23 5PA8925/06/2019
701233 732336PCO PCOl WOODCHURCH ROAD SHADOXHURST ASHFORDTN26 1LF125/06/2019
801233 756339OPP PUBLIC HOUSE PCOl THE STREET EGERTON ASHFORDTN27 9DJ024/06/2019
901233 840211O/S VILLAGE HALL PCOl THE STREET LITTLE CHART
ASHFORD
TN27 0QB024/06/2019
1001303 813180JCN THE WARREN PCOl LEES ROAD BRABOURNE LEES
ASHFORD
TN25 6QE025/06/2019
1101580 762370JCN WITH CRANBROOK RD PCOl ROLVENDEN ROAD
TENTERDEN
TN30 6TY125/06/2019

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