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Draft decision on the removal and retention of payphones

In December 2019, we were informed that BT wanted to remove a further 6 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 six out of ten 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 421368

PCO PCO1, Windlesham Road, Bracknell

RG42 1UB

135

Agree

Alternative phone within 800m.

2

01344 425493

PCO PCO1,
Lily Hill Road, Bracknell

RG12 2RB

231

Agree

3 alternative phones within 800m.

3

01344 487085

Jcn Crown Row PC03
Opladen Way, Bracknell

RG12 0PE

125

Object

More than 12 calls (125) in last 12 months, no alternative within 800m (as adjoining phone is being removed by BT under 400m rule) and more than 500 households (5,195) within 1km therefore social need fulfilled.

4

01344 487101

Outside Humphries Exhaust Centre, PCO1,
Bagshot Road, Bracknell

RG12 9RP

3

Agree

More than 500 households (6,070) with 1km. Phone not in working order and therefore 3 calls in the last 12 months could be a misrepresentation. However even if number of calls exceeds 12 in last 12 months there are 2 alternative phones within 800m and therefore social need not fulfilled.

5

01344 762011

Outside Former Somerfield Stores (Now Co Op), PCO1,
High Street, Crowthorne

RG45 7AF

54

Object

More than 12 calls (54) in last 12 months, no alternative within 800m and more than 500 households (2,504) within 1km therefore social need fulfilled.

6

01344 883378

Opposite Community Centre PCO1,
Fernbank Road, Ascot

SL5 8JB

23

Object

More than 12 calls (23) in last 12 months, no alternative within 800m and more than 500 households (1,755) within 1km therefore social need fulfilled.

Making a comment

Any further comments on this consultation response must be received by the council by midday on Wednesday 11 March 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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