Page last updated at 17:40 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 18:40 UK

Views on phone box needs sought

telephone box
BT said it recognised there was a "huge fondness" for the red kiosks

Towns and villages in west Dorset are being asked to consider whether they want to keep their payphones.

It follows a letter from BT asking parish and town councils to adopt their local red phone box for £1, but the telephone equipment will be removed.

Last year, West Dorset District Council successfully opposed BT's plans to remove 72 payphones in the district.

For BT to progress with the £1 scheme, the council would need to withdraw its veto on removing the equipment.

The council argued the area had a poor mobile phone signal and relied heavily on public payphones.

We can't ignore the fact that majority of these telephone kiosks simply aren't used very much, if at all
BT statement

The authority voted to object to the plan and was told by telecommunications watchdog Ofcom that BT has not appealed within the time limit.

The district council said that if it was to remove the veto - and allow towns and villages to adopt their payphones - it wants evidence that the phone equipment is not needed, even in emergency situations where there is poor mobile network coverage.

BT said: "People want the red kiosks to remain wherever possible.

"However, we can't ignore the fact that majority of these telephone kiosks simply aren't used very much, if at all.

"We believe that accepting our proposal to adopt a kiosk is the most practical solution to ensure that local red telephone kiosk structures are protected from any future removal programmes."

Robert Gould, West Dorset District Council leader, said: "The district council is asking all parish and town council's affected to share their views on BT's proposals.

"Parish and town councils need to respond by 16 November 2009.

"If a parish or town council affected does not respond, then the district council will keep its objection to the removal of phone equipment from the local phone box in that area."



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SEE ALSO
Village buys red phone box for 1
08 Apr 09 |  Cumbria
Future for 72 phone boxes secured
17 Oct 08 |  Dorset
BT plan for phone box 'adoption'
27 Aug 08 |  Business
Who uses phone boxes?
06 Feb 08 |  Magazine
ATMs planned for phone kiosks
23 Aug 05 |  South East Wales

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