Highlands & Islands

Pay phone removal plan prompts Highland backlash

Glenfinnan Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A payphone at Glenfinnan could be taken over by the local community

Telecoms giant BT is facing calls to save more than half of the 110 public pay phones it wants to remove from the Highlands.

It follows concerns about a lack of provision given poor mobile phone coverage in the area.

Highland Council said it planned to object to the removal of 55 pay phones following a public consultation.

It also said some communities were considering taking on responsibility for the phones themselves.

They included those living in or near Nairn, Dingwall, Glenfinnan, Kiltarlity, Dundonnell and Lochbroom.

'Something inspirational'

The local authority's environment, development and infrastructure committee is due to discuss their response to BT's plans at a meeting next week.

BT said that most people now had a mobile phone and that had resulted in calls made from its public telephones falling about 90% in the past decade.

A spokesman added: "We consider a number of factors before consulting on the removal of payphones, including whether others are available nearby and usage.

"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."

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