HC Deb 15 November 1945 vol 415 cc2518-9W
Sir G. Fox

asked the Assistant Postmaster-General if he will state the number of public telephone kiosks lit at night; the number of kiosks where no lighting is available or the plant has broken down; when it is anticipated that all will be lit when it is dark; the number of telephone kiosks that have mechanical defects and what steps are being taken to keep them in running order; and, approximately, the number of instruments that have been stolen in the last 12 months.

Mr. Burke

Following are the particulars asked for, so far as they are available:

Since the black-out regulations were withdrawn, lighting has been restored in approximately 26,400 telephone kiosks and will be restored in a further 1,800 as soon as the necessary equipment can be made available or supply cables connected. Some 8,000 kiosks mostly in rural areas, have no lighting, in most cases because there is no power supply in their neighbourhood.

The number of telephone kiosks out of order in consequence of faults varies from day to day and the national figures for a particular day could only be obtained by special inquiries throughout the country. In the London Telecommunications Region there are some 6,300 kiosks in addition to about 4,600 public call offices at railway stations, etc. It is estimated that about 8 per cent. of these are out of order at any particular time. All telephone kiosks are inspected regularly and in addition the officers who collect the coin from the boxes at regular intervals make a "test" call to the exchange at every visit to ensure that the apparatus is in working order. Any obvious defect in the condition of the apparatus is also reported by the cleaning staff and defects are at times brought to notice by members of the public. Faults reported on these installations are given urgent attention and service is restored at the earliest possible moment. Unfortunately some members of the public have little sense of civic responsibility and a large proportion of the difficulties experienced with call offices arises from deliberate and malicious damage.

Approximately 10,300 telephone instruments or parts of instruments were stolen from public call offices during 1944: this is the latest figure available.