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BT calls time on payphones


By David Porter

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A consultation is under way that could see up to 28 BT payphones removed from across the region.

The last two payphones in Inverurie including the one located at the Town Hall could be removed.
The last two payphones in Inverurie including the one located at the Town Hall could be removed.

The telecommunications company launched the 90-day review due to the continuing decline in use of the equipment.

Proposals include removal of phones in Aberchirder, Alford, Banff, Macduff, Huntly, Ellon, Inverurie, Oldmeldrum, Kemnay, Kintore and Insch.

BT regularly calls on communities across the country to consider adopting heritage red phone boxes for alternative uses if they are not saved, however the majority of those involved are of the kiosk type.

Two of the most used payphones on the list are in Banff and Inverurie where both were known to have been used more than 300 times in the last 12 months.

The Town Hall payphone is one of two under review.
The Town Hall payphone is one of two under review.

A previous round of removals saw a successful campaign mounted by locals in Monymusk to retain their phone box.

A BT spokesman said: “Most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from our public telephones have fallen by around 90per cent in the past decade.

“We are consulting with Aberdeenshire Council on the removal of 28 phone boxes in the area, providing the community the chance to comment on our proposals.

“As part of the consultation we are also offering communities the chance to adopt traditional red ‘heritage’ phone boxes for just £1 through our Adopt a Kiosk scheme and transform them into something inspirational for their local area.

“The need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is also diminishing all the time, with at least 98 per cent of the UK having either 3G or 4G coverage.

“This is important because, as long as there is network coverage, it’s now possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no credit or no coverage from your own mobile provider.”

For more information on how to adopt a kiosk see bt.com/adopt.

Comments on potential removal should be made through councillors as in previous consultations.

Payphones in the consultation include: Kingsford Road, Alford; Commercial Road, Insch; Kendal Road, Kemnay; The Square, Kintore; Market Place, Inverurie; Burghmuir Drive,Inverurie; Market Square, Oldmeldrum; The Square, Aberchirder; The Meadows,Ellon; Castle Road, Cruden Bay; Berrymuir Road,Macduff; Shore Street,Macduff; Castle Street,Banff and Chapel Street, Whitehills.



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