BT payphone removal consultation


news spinner image

Runnymede Borough Council has been told by British Telecom (BT) that it is proposing to remove a public payphone in the Borough.

The location of the public payphone is at the corner of Meadow Gardens and Thorpe Road, Staines upon Thames, TW18 3HF

BT data shows an average of three calls per month were made at this phone box.

BT has placed a consultation notice on the relevant payphone. 

The Council is consulting the local community on three options:

  • To agree to the removal
  • To object to the removal
  • To adopt the call box for use by the local community

The first phase consultation closed on 5 May 2021.

Reasons for removal by BT

BT has indicated that overall use of payphones has declined by over 90% in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is diminishing all the time with at least 98 per cent of the UK having either 3G or 4G coverage.

This is important because as long as there is network coverage, it's now possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no credit or no coverage from your own mobile provider.

Phone boxes are not being removed where there is no network coverage, in accident black spots, and a number of other locations which meet social need criteria.

Adopt a Kiosk

Local communities have the opportunity to adopt a traditional red 'heritage' phone box and make them an asset that local people can enjoy. It costs £1 per phone box. See BT Adopt a Kiosk for more information.

First Notification

Following no responses from the local communities in the first phase of consultation, we have prepared a First Notification to the Secretary of State for Digital Culture, Media and Sport. The notice outlines our initial position that we consent to the proposed removal. Local communities are invited to consider the first notice of decision and to comment on the proposed removal.

Ways to respond to the final consultation (to be received no later than 17:00 on 7 June 2021):

  1. Email:  
  2. Send/drop off a letter to:

BT Consultation Feedback

Runnymede Borough Council

Station Road



KT15 2AH

If you email or write a letter you will need to state:

  • Your name
  • Your postcode
  • Whether you are responding on behalf of an organisation - e.g. community council / community group
  • What specific payphone you are commenting on
  • Whether you approve the removal, oppose the removal, or wish to adopt the phone box as a registered charity .  If you wish to adopt, please also state your intended purpose.

Consultation process

The comments will be considered, and a final decision will then be shared through a Final Notification being published by 11 June 2021.  A copy of the Final Notification will also be sent to the Secretary of State and the Universal Service Provider by 7 July 2021. 

Further information

Ofcom guidance regarding payphone removal

BT Adopt a Kiosk