Council objects to removal of 55 pay phones

The phone box in Connel is used for a book swap scheme NO_T25_connelphonebox
The phone box in Connel is used for a book swap scheme

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A council committee has officially objected to plans by BT to remove dozens of telephone boxes.

Sixty-eight public pay phones across Argyll and Bute faced disconnection because of a massive fall off in use, with BT holding a 90-day consultation.

It included phones in places across Mull, the Isle of Coll, Isla and Jura and in Lochgilphead, Dunoon, Helensburgh, Campbeltown, Taynuilt and Dalmally.

Figures show the vast majority of pay phones have an average of zero calls a month.

The most used box in Argyll and Bute was in Burnbank Street, Campbeltown, having seven a month.

Councillors on the planning, protective services and licensing committee (PPSL) objected to the removal of 55 payphones and agreed with the proposed removal of 10.

There are community plans to adopt three, with those wishing to adopt having to pay £1 and provide a contact email address.

Some are used to hold defibrillators, small libraries, cake shops and as general public information hubs.

BT said payphone use had declined by more than 90 per cent in the last decade and the need to provide them for emergency use had greatly diminished.

It said at ‘least 98 per cent of the UK’ now had either 3G or 4G mobile phone network coverage.

It said: ‘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.’