|'LOSS OF PHONE BOXES EQUALS INCREASED DANGERS'- GIBSON
Rob Gibson SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands has signed a motion
that calls for a halt to BT's plans to close around one thousand telephone
boxes throughout Scotland.
Bruce Crawford MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife who lodged the motion calls
for better consultation between BT and Community Council's before it goes
ahead and closes any boxes.
Mr Gibson says that communities in the
Highlands and Islands may be worse affected if phone boxes disappear and
sights the village of Berriedale in South East Caithness as a prime
"The Community council of Berridale have contacted me saying that their
phone box is likely to be lost, if this was to happen it would be nothing
short of dangerous as there is no mobile reception in the village and the
steep and twisting road that run either side which is regarded as many as
the worst part of the whole A9.
"BT must take into account that phone boxes in rural and remote areas of
Scotland are a potential life line, as people living in the Highlands and
Islands will tell you there is no such thing as 100% mobile phone coverage
and indeed not everyone owns a mobile phone therefore to remove boxes is
tantamount to removing safety rings that are placed beside the countries
waterways. It may be true that neither of them are used much; but in an
emergency it is better to know that they are and can be used than not."
Text of Bruce Crawford's motion
S2M-01706 Bruce Crawford (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP):
That the Parliament recognises the value of public telephone boxes as an
important public service throughout Scotland in terms of social need and
access to emergency services; is concerned about the plans by British
Telecom (BT) to close 165 call boxes in towns and villages throughout
mid-Scotland and Fife and around 1,000 around Scotland; supports the many
community councils who have expressed grave concern at the planned closure
of public call boxes in their communities; considers the consultation
process conducted by BT to be inadequate, and therefore believes that BT
should consult directly with the communities affected and reconsider its