HC Deb 26 April 1961 vol 639 cc395-6
8. Mr. Driberg

asked the Postmaster-General if he will consider, in consultation with the Council of Industrial Design, the desirability of commissioning a new design for the standard telephone kiosk.

Mr. Bevins

I am having prototypes made of a new kiosk. It has been designed by Mr. Neville Conder and approved for trial, by both the Council of Industrial Design and the Royal Fine Art Commission. I hope to put the prototype into experimental use by the end of this year.

Mr. Driberg

Is this the one about which an announcement was made in 1958? If so, would it not be possible to make slightly more rapid progress? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the antique, archaic and quaint kiosk is still being put up in large numbers outside modern buildings, where it looks rather incongruous?

Mr. Bevins

The answer to the first part of that supplementary question is "Yes". This has had a somewhat chequered history and there have been a number of technical difficulties in connection with this prototype, the main one being to find some method of making the coin box part of the structure of the kiosk so that it could not be ripped out by all and sundry.

Mr. W. R. Williams

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his predecessor, the present Minister of Transport, and the hon. Member for Manchester, Openshaw were both very much attracted to the spacious and clean-looking aluminium kiosk to be seen in America?

Mr. Bevins

Yes, indeed. The new prototype in many respects emulates the American type, but there have been certain technical deficiencies in the design.

Mr. Farr

When suggestions for the design of a new kiosk are considered and put into practice, will my right hon. Friend ensure that the door is made easier to open? Is he aware that in many cases old ladies have found it difficult to open the door, especially on a windy day?

Mr. Bevins

That is a very valid point.

Forward to