asked the Postmaster-General how many public telephones have been installed in country areas in the West Riding of Yorkshire during the past 12 months; how many villages of more than 500 inhabitants, or a similar convenient number, in the West Riding are still without public telephones; and what plans are in hand for the installation of further public telephones in country districts in the West Riding.
Fifty-three telephone kiosks were installed in 1948 in rural areas of the West Riding of Yorkshire, and plans are in hand for the provision of a further 60. The number of villages of more than 500 inhabitants without a telephone kiosk is not readily available.
Is not the Postmaster-General aware that there is a great demand for the installation of public telephones; and can he indicate the chief reasons that make progress so slow?
I think that the progress in providing telephone kiosks in the last two years has been quicker than it ever was before.
asked the Postmaster-General if he is now able to give further details of the quota system of providing public telephone kiosks in rural areas as announced by him on 30th March.
Under the new quota system the Post Office will determine each year the total number of rural kiosks which it can provide, and, in cooperation with the Rural Districts Councils Association, will allocate this number between counties. The location of the individual kiosks will be determined in the light of the recommendations of the rural local authorities in each county. Final details of the scheme are still under discussion.
As many of the rural areas in the most remote parts of Cumberland have been waiting three or four years since applying for these public telephone kiosks, cannot the right hon. Gentleman do something on the quota system to hasten the remedying of the shortage of equipment or manpower?
In spite of difficulties we have allocated to the building of telephone kiosks in remote areas a far larger proportion than ever before.
There has been a four years' wait.