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Draft decision on the removal and retention of payphones

In August 2020, we were informed that BT wanted to remove a further 8 payphones in the borough.

BT informed us that the payphones were not being used sufficiently. A public notice was displayed by BT in each payphone affected, giving the public 42 days to comment.

In addition, the consultation was advertised in the weekly list of applications circulated to all town and parish councils and members. Immediate neighbours were informed by letter.

BT has what is known as a 'Universal Service Obligation' to provide adequate coverage of public payphones. In recent years the needs of consumers have changed drastically with the increase in mobile phone ownership. Revenue from telephone boxes decreased by nearly half between 2000 and 2006 and BT states that 6 out of 10 are actually losing money.

In 2005 Ofcom (Office of Communications) completed a review of the provision of public telephone boxes in the UK and agreed a new set of rules which BT must follow if it wishes to remove the only telephone box in a local area. The rules give local authorities a veto on such removals, although BT has the right of appeal. Further information about the process of removing payphones can be found on the Ofcom website.

Regulatory requirements mean that the council has to make 2 formal notifications about its decisions following consultation on the proposed payphone removal.

Draft decision by the council in response to the proposal

The following table summarises the council's initial recommendation to BT. This forms Schedule A of the ‘First Notification’ on the removal of the proposed payphones based on a variety of factors, including consultation responses.

Table showing draft decision by the council in response to a proposal by BT for the removal of public call boxes.

Number

Phone number

Address

Postcode

Number of calls in last 12 months

Agree/Adopt/
Object

Comments and reasons

1

01344 882934

O/S Pizzeria, PCO1 Winkfield Row, Bracknell

RG42 6NH

0

Agree

Only phone within 800m but 0 calls in last 12 months. In working order at time of site visit.

2

01344 883256

Jct. with Church Road, PCO1 Priory Road, Ascot
Lily Hill Road, Bracknell

SL5 8RN

0

Object

Not in working order, no alternative phone within 800m and more than 500 households within 1km. Therefore no calls in 12 month period could be a misrepresentation.

3

01344 303962

O/S Harmanswater Community Centre, PCO1 Ralphs Ride, Bracknell

RG12 9LG

3

Agree

More than 500 households within 1km, no alternative within 800m but fewer than 12 calls in 12 month period. In working order at time of site visit.

4

01344 421653

Opp Rickman Close, PCO1 South Hill Road, Bracknell

RG12 7NN

4

Agree

More than 500 households with 1km, fewer than 12 calls in 12 month period and alternative within 800m.

5

01344 425456

O/S Birch Hill shops, PCO1 Liscombe, Bracknell

RG12 7DE

14

Object

More than 500 households within 1km, more than 12 calls (14 in total) in 12 month period and no alternative within 800m therefore fulfils criteria for reasonable need.

6

01344 762011

O/S Somerfield Stores PCO1 High Street, Crowthorne

RG45 7AF

3

Agree

More than 500 households, no alternative within 800m but fewer than 12 calls in 12 month period. In working order at time of site visit.

7

01344 762010

Opp Crowthorne B/Rail station PCO1 Dukes Ride, Crowthorne

RG45 6DS

7

Agree

More than 500 households, no alternative within 800m but fewer than 12 calls in 12 month period. In working order at time of site visit.

8

01344 772290

PCO1 Yeovil Road, Owlsmoor, Sandhurst

GU46 0TF

4

Agree

More than 500 households, no alternative within 800m but fewer than 12 calls in 12 month period. In working order at time of site visit.

Making a comment

Any further comments on this consultation response must be received by the council by midday on Tuesday 17 November 2020.

Comments should be sent to the Development Management Team at Time Square or by emailing Development.Contol@bracknell-forest.gov.uk.

Any responses received on or before this deadline will be considered and a ‘Final Notification’ will be prepared and published

Contact information

Planning Team

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