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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 May, 2005, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
BT scraps plans to axe payphones
Phone box
BT says many of its public phone boxes are running at a loss
Plans to remove more than 200 payphones from rural areas of North Yorkshire have been scrapped by British Telecom.

The company had identified the public phones as being under threat as they were not viable to keep.

BT says it still plans to review the future of 11 phone boxes which are located close to others.

A council spokesman said it is pleased BT has recognised the need of services in rural areas. They added a public consultation is planned for the future.

Gordon Gresty said: "It is clear that they have accepted the importance of rural services such as payphones to isolated communities.

"The only payphones that will be removed, as a result of this exercise, are a small number of very infrequently used payphones, where no objections have been received to their removal and where an alternative one is nearby."

A spokesman for BT said residents will be asked on their views on the service and proposals to modify some payphones to be cashless, meaning emergency calls can be made or a BT or credit card used.

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