BT must listen to rural communities over phone box plans

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Tomintoul residents were unhappy with BT’s plans for phone box removal

Residents of Speyside are in uproar after BT attempted to remove another village phone box despite community objections.

BT has already removed the phone boxes at the Bridge of Avon and Glenlivet despite the Moray Council’s decision to object to their removal due to the lack of mobile phone signal in the area.

The phone box at Tomintoul was also set to be removed, against the wishes of the community, but BT has agreed to partially restore the service in the village.

Moray MSP Richard Lochhead is now calling on BT to reinstate the phone boxes in Glenlivet and Bridge of Avon and is asking that the service in Tomintoul be fully restored.

He said, “Residents in Tomintoul were shocked when BT engineers set about removing the village phone box last week.  My constituents have made it clear that they wish Tomintoul to retain a fully operational phone box and I’ve asked that BT listen to the view of the community.

“Whilst BT has halted the removal of the Tomintoul phone box they’ve only agreed to partially restore the service but I think it is only right that that they fully restore what was there before.

“Moray Council consulted on BT’s plans for the removal of phone boxes and voted to object to the removal of these three facilities back in 2016.  For BT to then go ahead and remove the phone boxes at Bridge of Avon and Glenlivet, despite there being very poor mobile phone coverage in these areas, has not gone down well with local residents.

At the time many residents aired their concerns about the proximity of the Tomintoul phone box to a defibrillator and the lack of mobile reception in an emergency.