BT is now carrying out a further consultation on removing more phone boxes, including the last one in Portlethen.
Notices were placed in all the affected boxes by BT towards the end of July stating that BT proposed to remove the box due as “our research shows this payphone just isn’t used enough for us to carry on running it” and that the public had 42 days to contact their local authority if they had any comments.
There are quite a number of the selected payphone boxes that have already been consulted on in the past year and an objection lodged to their removal.
The response from BT is that they review data constantly, and “these specific payphones just aren’t being used enough. This low usage will always flag, and they will always meet the criteria for removal”.
Three boxes in the Kincardine and Mearns area are under threat: in Fettercairn, Drumoak, and the one in Portlethen at Cookston Road opposite the Rowanbank Road shops. The average number of calls from the Portlethen box is one a month.
The last time BT wanted to remove the box Portlethen and District Community Council objected saying the town should retain the one box as a public service and for those in the immediate area. The community council will be invited to comment this time too.
Information on how a local community can go about adopting a telephone box for £1 can be found here: http://bt.com/adopt. Boxes can only be adopted if they are the traditional red type.
Comments on the proposals are being collated by Aberdeenshire Council on behalf of BT. The closing date is 2 September.