BT consult on removal of telephone boxes

We’d like to remove payphones in your area so please tell us your views. Our 90 day consultation ends on 9 November 2020

Dear Chief Planning Officer,

We’re continually reviewing the demand for our payphones and we’ve identified 8 public payphones in your area that aren’t being used enough. We’re proposing to remove them under the 90 day consultation process. The list of payphones is attached.

To make sure that the local community are fully informed, we’ve placed consultation notices [including the posting date] on these payphones. A sample notice is attached.

Why do we want to remove payphones?

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 per cent of the UK having mobile coverage. This Is important because as long as there is mobile network coverage, it’s possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no
coverage from your own mobile network provider.

Also, Ofcom’s affordability report found that most people no longer view payphones as essential for consumers in most circumstances.

How can a community keep a red phone box?

This is a great opportunity for local communities, councils and charities, to adopt their red phone box and make it an asset for everyone to enjoy. People across the country are using them for everything from defibrillators to foodbanks. It ‘ s really simple to do and costs just £1 –

What we’re asking you to do

We’d welcome your feedback on whether the payphones are still needed and we’d appreciate your help.

Ofcom’s statement following their 2005 review of universal service in the telecommunications market gives the responsibility to the local authority to consult with the local community on the removal of payphone service. They would normally expect these consultations to involve other public organisations such as parish or community councils and work within the terms of the Communications Act 2003.

What to do next

Please complete and return the attached annex with your decision on each payphone by email to Please retain proof that the email was sent or apply a read receipt.

  • Just select agree if you’re happy for us fo remove it.
  • If the local community wish to adopt, please provide their contact details and we’ll do the rest.
  • If you decide to object, you’ll need to complete the last column with your reasons. You must be able to objectively justify your decisions based upon telephony needs. Annex 1 in Otcom’s fullguidance about removing phone boxes states that BT’s Universal Service Obligation applies to the telephone, not the phone box. The guidance also details the appeals process we must follow for unreasonable objections. It would, for example, be inappropriate for a local authority to object to removal of a public call box because it is
    a local landmark or on ‘heritage’ grounds.

We’ll assume you have no objection to the removal of a payphone if information on the form is incomplete or an adoption does not proceed.

If you’ve got any questions, please email us at

Jcn Christchurch Road / Jemmett Road AshfordTN23 4QD
Jcn Christchurch Road / Beaver Road Ashford TN23 7ST
Opp Public House / The Street Egerton Ashford TN27 9DJ
Newtown Green Ashford TN24 0PL
Jcn Twelve Acres / Hunter Avenue Willesborough Ashford TN24 0HA
Jcn Kenbrook / Tile Kiln Road Kennington Ashford TN24 9NT
Jcn Lower Vicarage Road / Faversham Road Kennington Ashford TN24 9AJ
Nr Car Park Market Place Charing Ashford TN27 0LP

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