Have a say on plan to remove Highland phone boxes

There is a huge amount of opposition to BT’s proposal to remove 110 public payphones from across the Highland region.

The Highland Council began a consultation, asking for the views of the public on removing the boxes.

Most of the objections have cited below low levels of mobile phone ownership and their importance to elderly residents, as well as the very poor mobile phone reception which can be found in many of the areas.

The Highland Council is seeking final feedback from the public with a second phase of consultation, which will run until 24 October.

Regulation set out by Ofcom, the independent regulator, states that local authorities have the responsibility to co-ordinate consultations to gather views about proposed payphone removals.

Following 136 responses to the first phase of the consultation, this feedback has been published online at the Council website: https://www.highland.gov.uk/consultations

The council is encouraging members of the public to look at BT’s proposals and comment, giving as much information as possible about the public call boxes which have been proposed for removal.

Following the end of the consultation, a final notice of decision will be published which will outline Highland Council’s position on the proposed removals.

Highland Council leader, Councillor Margaret Davidson said: ‘Let’s be clear that this is BT’s proposals that we are consulting on and Highland Council is keen to know public opinion on all of these phones

‘It’s important that as many people as possible reply to the survey so that we can build an accurate picture of individuals’ and community views and needs.

‘I urge members of the public to respond to the consultation. People living in the areas of proposed closures are in the best position to know the impact the removal of a payphone would have on them and their community.’

More detail on the consultation is available at: https://www.highland.gov.uk/consultations and will be open until midnight on 24 October 2019.

For further information and to respond to the consultation, contact the Highland Council Policy Unit at policy6@highland.gov.uk.