01202 area code
The 01202 area code is for Bournemouth and the surrounding area.
Locations using 01202 numbers include:
- Canford Cliffs
- Lytchett Minster
- Wimborne Minster
Most numbers using the 01202 area code are normal Bournemouth landlines but be aware that, as is the case for all UK area codes, such numbers may also be used for services without any physical link to the area. (More info)
01202 area code information
|Call costs:||Normal landline rate|
|Area code required for local calls:||Yes|
|Local number length:||6 digits|
|Number format:||01202 xxxxxx|
|International number format:||+44 1202 xxxxxx|
|Number shortages predicted:||Yes|
|Last code change:||April 1995 (previously 0202)|
History of the 01202 area code
Bournemouth was one of several areas to originally be issued with two area codes. When dialling in from outside the Bournemouth area, the area code 0202 was used for a central 'core' area, while a second 0201 'ring' code was used for accessing a few satellite telephone exchanges.
The length of local phone numbers could vary between individual exchanges and dialling between local telephone exchanges wholly within the Bournemouth area used a relatively complicated system of short codes starting with 8 or 9.
By the end of the 1980s, the system had been greatly simplified. Six-digit local numbers became the norm and the telephone exchanges that had previously used the 0201 area code had all their numbers absorbed into the main 0202 area code.
The next significant change occurred in 1995, when the 0202 area code was changed to 01202 as part of a nationwide renumbering programme.
By the mid 2000s, concerns were being raised about a shortage of available phone numbers within the 01202 area code. Traditionally, number shortages were resolved by lengthening local numbers and making a corresponding area code change – such as when Reading changed from six digit to seven digit numbers in 1998. However, regulator Ofcom was reluctant to impose a number change on people living and working in the area, as it perceived previous number changes to have been unpopular or inconvenient.
In late 2012, the 01202 area became the first in the country to introduce compulsory dialling of the area code for local calls as a stopgap solution to number shortages. This released a further 200,000 numbers – a potential 25% increase in capacity – by allowing previously undiallable local numbers starting with '0' or '1' to be brought into general use.
By March 2016, a total of 55,000 of these new numbers had been issued to phone companies. When the capacity of the 01202 code is completely exhausted, it is likely that Ofcom will need to start issuing numbers from a second, new area code which will run in parallel with 01202.