diamond geezer

 Wednesday, July 14, 2004

01 for London: One of London’s most potent symbols always used to be the 01 phone prefix. London took the premier easiest-to-remember code, in line with its national status, while the rest of the country put up with the leftovers. For example, Consett in County Durham took the insignificant 0207 prefix, while Bodmin in Cornwall was lumbered with 0208.

Then in the 1990s came an explosion of fax machines and second-, third- and fourth- phone lines, particularly in the capital. This forced an expansion of the phone numbering system, brilliantly mismanaged by OFTEL. They first assured Londoners that a split into 071 and 081 areas would be perfectly sufficient, then that the less-than-memorable 0171 and 0181 codes were urgently required, and finally that 0207 and 0208 were absolutely necessary. Londoners were forced to reorder new stationery three times in ten years, and many businesses around the capital still have out-of-date phone numbers engraved prominently on their shop-fronts. Meanwhile, in Consett and Bodmin, the behind-the-times shops now display current London numbers.

Yesterday we discovered that the supply of 0207 numbers is already drying up so yet another new London dialling code is required. OFCOM will be introducing 0203 numbers next summer (as used less than ten years ago in darkest Coventry). The 0203 code will only be used for new lines, not existing ones, and won't be restricted to either inner or outer London as before. And yes I do know that the official code for London is actually just 020, not the four-digit 020x, so there is some rationale behind the introduction of 020 3. Maybe one day the signwriters in the capital will notice this fact and businesses will learn to split up their phone digits correctly. But somehow London's not the same now that almost everywhere else's number starts with good old 01.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream