Have your say on BT plans to remove 11 payphones in Central Bedfordshire

Review found they were no longer needed
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People are being invited to have their say on plans to remove 11 public payphones across central Bedfordshire.

BT says the public payphones are no longer needed following a review based on criteria outlined in Ofcom's Review of the telephony universal service obligation.

Notices have been affixed to the payphones, with Central Beds Council expected to provide a formal response to BT by November 14.

BT phone box interior. Picture: Central Bedfordshire CouncilBT phone box interior. Picture: Central Bedfordshire Council
BT phone box interior. Picture: Central Bedfordshire Council

A Central Beds Council spokesperson explained: “In the past, if the local authority expressed opposition to BT's plan to eliminate a payphone, BT couldn't proceed with the removal. However, the guidelines have been updated, and our ability to veto such removals has been removed.

“Since we no longer hold decision-making authority in this matter, we're unable to conduct a formal consultation. Instead, we're conducting an engagement survey to gather the opinions of local communities regarding the proposals. This survey will help us gather evidence to shape our response.”

The list of the payphones which could be removed include:

> O/S PO PCO2 Hitchin Road, Henlow Camp, Henlow, SG16 6DP – 01462811018

> O/S Lemon Plaice PCO1 Ampthill Road, Shefford, SG17 5AZ – 01462811085

> PCO1 Greenway Campton, Shefford, SG17 5BN – 01462811190

> Adjacent to the Police Station PCO1 Watling Street, Hockliffe, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 9NB – 01525210261

> PCO PCO1 Birds Hill, Heath and Reach, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 0AD – 01525237211

> PCO PCO1 Hazelwood Lane, Ampthill, Bedford, MK45 2EY - 01525402176

> PCO PCO1 Hinksley Road, Flitwick, Bedford, MK45 1ES – 01525714075

> Junction Denell Close, PCO1 road, Flitwick, Bedford, MK45 1AZ – 01525714717

> PCO BT PCO Russell Centre, Coniston Road, Flitwick, Bedford, MK45 1QY – 01525715200

> Junction Windsor Drive, PCO1 Lowry Drive, Houghton Regis, Dunstable, LU5 5SJ – 01582865310

> Village Hall PCO1 Common Road, Studham, Dunstable, LU6 2NQ – 01582872181.

The council points out local communities also have the opportunity to adopt a traditional red ‘heritage’ phone box for just £1.

Adopting a phone box could mean the town or parish council, or a registered charity could adopt a phone box and retain it for an alternative community use such as housing defibrillators. Find more information here

The survey is open until October 29 and can be accessed here

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