HC Deb 07 April 1964 vol 692 cc782-3
16. Mr. P. Browne

asked the Postmaster-General if he will give the average cost of installation and maintenance of a single telephone kiosk.

Mr. Bevins

The average capital cost of a telephone kiosk is £330, including the cost of the line and exchange equipment. A kiosk must take £250 a year on average to cover total annual costs.

Mr. Browne

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the Post Office quite rightly uses certain social criteria in rural areas in respect of the installation of kiosks which cannot possibly make money? If that is the ease, will he explain to the uninitiated what these criteria are? Does he consult some body? It appears that on some occasions these kiosks are installed in completely out-of-the-way places, and yet on other occasions when we ask the Postmaster-General to install them in reasonable places he refuses.

Mr. Bevins

The Post Office at present loses between £3 million and £4 million a year on telephone kiosks, but we have special arrangements with the Rural District Councils Association to make sure that deserving cases in rural areas are met.

Mr. Lipton

Do the figures which the Postmaster-General has given include the cost of dealing with damage done to telephone kiosks by vandals? Does not that damage amount to a considerable figure over a year?

Mr. Bevins

The figures naturally include all the costs.