BT plans to remove 30 public pay-phones across Central Bedfordshire including this one in Cranfield

Does mobile technology mean pay-phones are no longer needed?

BT wishes to remove 30 Central Bedfordshire public pay-phones it has identified as unnecessary. As part of this process, Central Bedfordshire Council is required to undertake a public consultation and to inform BT of the results.

The consultation will run from 5 November 2019 until 3 December 2019. It enables residents to comment on whether they agree or object to the removal of each of the 30 phone boxes identified by BT.

The consultation process also gives some local communities the opportunity to adopt a traditional red ‘heritage’ phone box and make it an asset that local people can enjoy.

Some examples of how phone boxes have been used include housing defibrillators, art galleries and libraries. It’s simple to do and it costs just £1 –

BT say that the use of public pay-phones has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade. Also, that due to mobile phone coverage, the need to provide pay-phones for use in emergency situations is diminishing all the time.

Cllr Richard Wenham, deputy leader and executive member for Corporate Resources, said:

“Public pay-phones have played an important role in our communities over the years, but with mobile technology being more widely used, better network coverage and changing customer habits there is a question over their continued value.

“However, we want to make sure that none of our vital public pay-phones are removed and the community have the opportunity to buy their local phone box, so I am encouraging everyone to have their say in the public consultation.”

The consultation will run until Tuesday 3 December. You’ll find more information, including a list of the public pay-phones to be removed and links to Ofcom guidance online at

Marston Vale pay-phones in the consultation: