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PhONEday was a change to the telephone dialing plan in the United Kingdom on 16 April 1995. It changed geographic area codes and some telephone numbers. In most areas a "1" was added to the dialling code. In Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield the area codes were replaced with new codes and the subscriber numbers gained an extra digit. The PhONEday changes also made provision for new ranges of subscriber numbers in those five cities. A £16m advertising campaign, and an eight-month period of parallel running during which old and new codes were active, preceded the change.[1] PhONEday followed a change made in May 1990 when the old London area code 01 had been released from use, permitting all United Kingdom geographic numbers to begin with this prefix. Originally planned in 1991 to take place in 1994,[2] in 1992 the change was postponed until 1995.[2]

The PhONEday changes also released space for new geographic area codes beginning 02, which would come into use as part of the Big Number Change in 2000. The changes also allowed 10-digit numbers beginning 07, 08, and 09 to be used for mobile, non-geographic, and premium-rate services, from 1997 onwards, with all remaining 9-digit mobile, non-geographic, and premium-rate numbers from 02 to 09 being converted to 10 digits and moved into the 07, 08, and 09 prefixes in 2001.

Number changes[edit]

Additional "1"[edit]

On PhONEday, 16 April 1995, the digit "1" prefixed all geographic area codes. For example, the code for Inner London changed from 071 to 0171 and the code for Reading changed from 0734 to 01734. Other examples were:

Area New numbering Old numbering
Coventry (01203) xxxxxx (0203) xxxxxx
Birmingham (0121) xxx xxxx (021) xxx xxxx
Cardiff (01222) xxxxxx (0222) xxxxxx
Ashford (01233) xxxxxx (0233) xxxxxx
Blackburn (01254) xxxxx or xxxxxx (0254) xxxxx or xxxxxx
Cromer (01263) xxxxxx (0263) xxxxxx
Castle Point (01268) xxxxxx (0268) xxxxxx
Edinburgh (0131) xxx xxxx (031) xxx xxxx
Derby (01332) xxxxxx (0332) xxxxxx
Dundee (01382) xxxxxx (0382) xxxxxx
Evesham (01386) xxxxx or xxxxxx (0386) xxxxx or xxxxxx
Dumfries (01387) xxxxxx (0387) xxxxxx
Langholm (0138 73) xxxxx (038 73) xxxxx
Glasgow (0141) xxx xxxx (041) xxx xxxx
Hull (01482) xxxxxx (0482) xxxxxx
Liverpool (0151) xxx xxxx (051) xxx xxxx
Lancaster (01524) xxxxx or xxxxxx (0524) xxxxx or xxxxxx
Hornby (0152 42) xxxxx (052 42) xxxxx
Jersey (01534) xxxxxx (0534) xxxxxx
Luton (01582) xxxxxx (0582) xxxxxx
Chipping Norton (01608) xxxxxx (0608) xxxxxx
Manchester (0161) xxx xxxx (061) xxx xxxx
Maidenhead[3] (01628) xxxxxx (0628) xxxxxx
(01628) 6xxxxx (0628) xxxxx
Magherafelt (01648) xxxxx or xxxxxx (0648) xxxxx or xxxxxx
Cookstown (0164 87) xxxxx (064 87) xxxxx
Melton Mowbray (01662) xxxxx or xxxxxx (0662) xxxxx or xxxxxx
Malvern (01684) xxxxxx (0684) xxxxxx
Wigton (0169 73) xxxxx (069 73) xxxxx
Brampton[a] (0169 77) xxxxx (069 77) xxxxx
(0169 77) xxxx (069 77) xxxx
Southampton (01703) xxxxxx (0703) xxxxxx
Uxbridge (01895) xxxxxx (0895) xxxxxx
Inner London (0171) xxx xxxx (071) xxx xxxx
Sevenoaks (01732) xxxxxx (0732) xxxxxx
Reading (01734) xxxxxx (0734) xxxxxx
Outer London (0181) xxx xxxx (081) xxx xxxx
Tyneside/Durham/Sunderland (0191) xxx xxxx (091) xxx xxxx

New short codes[edit]

Five new shorter area codes were introduced for cities that were running low on available phone numbers and a digit was prepended to each subscriber number.

City New numbering Old numbering
Leeds (0113) 2xx xxxx (0532) xxxxxx
Sheffield (0114) 2xx xxxx (0742) xxxxxx
Nottingham (0115) 9xx xxxx (0602) xxxxxx
Leicester (0116) 2xx xxxx (0533) xxxxxx
Bristol (0117) 9xx xxxx (0272) xxxxxx

This also affected some national dialling only numbers for those cities:

City New numbering Old numbering
Leeds 0113 0ax xxxx 0532 0xxxxx
0113 1ax xxxx 0532 1xxxxx
Sheffield 0114 0ax xxxx 0742 0xxxxx
0114 1ax xxxx 0742 1xxxxx
Nottingham 0115 0ax xxxx 0602 0xxxxx
0115 1ax xxxx 0602 1xxxxx
Leicester 0116 0ax xxxx 0533 0xxxxx
0116 1ax xxxx 0533 1xxxxx
Bristol 0117 0ax xxxx 0272 0xxxxx
0117 1ax xxxx 0272 1xxxxx

International access[edit]

The international access code also changed on PhONEday, from 010 to 00 thus meeting the international call prefix standard set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).


In cities that were running out of subscriber numbers new sub-ranges beginning with a different initial digit to existing numbers started to be allocated. For example, in Sheffield (0114) when the 2xx xxxx numbers were exhausted, new numbers then began to be issued from the 3xx xxxx range. Similarly, newly allocated numbers in Leeds (0113), Leicester (0116) and Bristol (0117) also came from the 3xx xxxx range, but in Nottingham (0115), the new numbers instead came from the 8xx xxxx range. Less than a decade later, further new ranges were opened in most of these areas, but this time new Leicester numbers are in the 4xx xxxx range, new Bristol numbers are in the 2xx xxxx range, new Nottingham numbers are in the 7xx xxxx range and new Leeds numbers are in the 4xx xxxx and 8xx xxxx ranges.[6]

City Number range Usage
(0113) 2xx xxxx Numbers transferred from (0532) xxxxxx
(0113) 3xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 1997
(0113) 4xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 2010
(0113) 8xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 2006
(0114) 2xx xxxx Numbers transferred from (0742) xxxxxx
(0114) 3xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 2004
(0114) 4xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 2009
(0115) 2xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 2009
(0115) 7xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 2006
(0115) 8xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 1997
(0115) 9xx xxxx Numbers transferred from (0602) xxxxxx
(0116) 2xx xxxx Numbers transferred from (0533) xxxxxx
(0116) 3xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 2004
(0116) 4xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 2009
(0117) 2xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 2007
(0117) 3xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 1997
(0117) 4xx xxxx New phase of numbers, issued from 2012
(0117) 9xx xxxx Numbers transferred from (0272) xxxxxx

After PhONEday, further changes to geographic area codes were made in Reading three years later and in London, Southampton, Portsmouth, Coventry, Cardiff and Northern Ireland at the Big Number Change five years later. Much later, a new area code (01987) was created for Ebbsfleet in 2007.

The changes made at PhONEday were one step towards reorganising the numbering plan at a later date, so that the first two digits would indicate the type of service called.[7] PhONEday had cleared area codes from 02 to 09 of all geographic allocations by converting 9-digit numbers to 10-digit 01 numbers (and, in parts of at least 47 area codes, 8-digit numbers to 9-digit 01 numbers). After PhONEday, all pre-existing 9-digit mobile, non-geographic, premium rate, personal and pager numbers from 02 to 09 remained in place. Those would be moved to new 07, 08 and 09 prefixes and converted to 10-digits in the Big Number Change in 2000. However, from 1997 onwards, all new numbers for those services were allocated with 10-digits and already conforming to the new number plan: mobile phones (077xx, 078xx, 079xx), personal numbers (070), pagers (076), local-rate non-geographic revenue-share (0845), national-rate non-geographic revenue-share (0870) and premium rate (090x). Gaps were left within each of those new 10-digit number ranges to allow for the older 9-digit 02 to 09 numbers to migrate in the Big Number Change. Freephone numbers were an exception. Older 9-digit 0500 and 0800 numbers as well as newer 10-digit 0800 and 0808 numbers all remained in use after the Big Number Change.


  1. ^ In 1995, Brampton (06977) 2xxx and (06977) 3xxx (4+4 format) numbers became (016977) 2xxx and (016977) 3xxx (5+4 format) numbers. Oftel "forgot" to update those two entries in the numberplan, leaving them as "4+4" and thereby incorrectly implying (01697) 72xx and (01697) 73xx - with both an incorrect area code and the final digit missing from the subscriber number. It took 15 years for Ofcom to correct these errors in the "s1_code.txt" allocation file. The relevant entries are now correctly marked as "5+4" format, but the errors remain in other Ofcom documents such as "sabc.txt". Ofcom has ignored warnings made by BT in 2003 and by others in more recent years. Additionally, (016977) 6xxxx to (016977) 9xxxx are still incorrectly marked as "4+6" format in Ofcom's data, when in reality they are "5+5" format.[4][5]


  1. ^ Whitfield, Martin (1995-04-15). "BT braced for wrong-number barrage on Phoneday". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  2. ^ a b "A brief history of recent UK telecoms and Oftel". Ofcom. 1999. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "Maidenhead area telephone information". 13 September 2001. Retrieved 9 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Erdunast, Howard (2003-05-16). "BT's Response to the Consultation by OFTEL on Proposals to Publish a National Telephone Numbering Plan" (PDF). British Telecommunications PLC. Retrieved 2010-04-02.  Page 7: '01697 – Brampton should be 016977; not 01697'.
  5. ^ Director General of Telecommunications (2003-07-09). "The National Telephone Numbering Plan" (PDF). Oftel. Office of Telecommunications. Retrieved 2010-04-02.  Page 20 shows Brampton listed as 0169 77.
  6. ^ Ofcom. "The National Numbering Scheme : Telephone Numbers administered by Ofcom". Office of Communications. Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  7. ^ Ofcom (1999). "The Big Number - your questions answered". Office of Communications. Retrieved 2012-09-25.