End of the line: Phone boxes set to get cut off - The Stratford Observer

End of the line: Phone boxes set to get cut off

Stratford Editorial 15th Jan, 2017   0

PHONE boxes across the district are set to disappear.

A public consultation was launched last October after BT told Stratford District Council it planned to remove 74 public payphones.

The communications giant says use of payphones has declined by over 90 per cent in the past decade and the need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations was also falling fast with most of the UK now having either 3G or 4G mobile coverage.

Some of the phones listed have not had a call made from them in the past 12 months, while many others have only seen a handful made.

Residents and parish councils have been told phone boxes will not be removed where there is no network coverage or in accident blackspots.

But the consultation in the district has prompted over 40 objections to the proposals – mainly pointing to patchy mobile coverage in rural areas.

Most of the phone boxes earmarked for removal are modern kiosk style phones, but a number are the classic historic red boxes. None of the district’s ‘listed’ red phone boxes are targeted for removal.

While some parish councils have accepted the removal of phones, others have stated they would like to take ownership of their red phone box. Great Alne council even suggests the possibility of installing a defibrillator in the village’s red box.

Stratford District Council will discuss the results of the consultation on Monday (January 16) before letting BT know their decision. The council is likely to support parish councils which want to adopt their red kiosks.

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