We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Payphone Consultation Descends into Farce as BT Refuses to Take Calls

June 21, 2008 9:00 AM
Old style telephone

Bedford Borough Lib Dems have branded the consultation process for payphone removals a "shambles," after BT confirmed that it is unable to receive phone calls on the matter

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have repeated their demands for BT to reveal how and why they chose the 28 payphones that are due to be removed across the borough. The telecommunications giant continues to withhold this information as the closure of a consultation period on the removals approaches on June 25th. The process descended into farce this week with confirmation from BT that its consultation team working on the payphone removals cannot be contacted by telephone.

The Liberal Democrats have made a request to BT, via the borough council, for information on the criteria used to select payphones for removal and the usage levels of the threatened payphones. BT has informed the council that it may not be able to respond to the request before the closing date for public responses to the proposed removals. In a further bizarre twist, Britain's largest telecommunications firm has stated that it cannot be contacted about this matter via the telephone, and will only respond to contact made in writing via a single point of contact in the council.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Nick Charsley's Harrold Ward faces the loss of 3 public payphones. Commenting, Cllr Charsley said: "This process is a sham that has become a shambles. If BT believes that there is a real case for removing the payphones, why can't they tell us what it is? How can I give a full response to the consultation on the proposed payphone removals in Wymington, Podington and Harrold if I can't even be told why they are to be removed?'

"The fact that British Telecom cannot be contacted by phone to discuss the removal of payphones would be amusing if this were not such a serious matter. BT must announce immediately that the deadline for this consultation will be extended until it can respond to our simple request for information and bring an end to this ludicrous situation."