PROPOSALS have been made to remove 28 public phone boxes from across the district.
British Telecom has proposed to scrap the public pay phones following a 90 per cent decline in use. The communications giant said the phones would be retained under the conditions they were used more than 12 times a year, were the only pay phone within 800 metres and within 1km of villages of no less than 500 homes.
A Stratford District Council report into the proposal said: “A number of the payphones within this consultation are in rural village locations.
“Public payphones provide an important local service and are often regarded as key features in many villages. Of the 28 phone boxes proposed for removal, 19 are modern and nine are the traditional ‘heritage’ red phone kiosks. At the same time it is apparent that changes in communications technology and increase in mobile phone use has seen a marked decline in the use of payphones.”
A consultation was launched to allow councillors and residents to share their views on the matter. The response recommended 11 pay phones were removed, 11 were retained and six recommended for adoption by the community.
Reasons for retaining the pay phones included poor mobile phone reception, elderly residents without mobiles and for emergencies. Among the most used were pay phones in Drayton Avenue and Birmingham Road in Stratford.
Objections were made to the removal of a phone in Pillerton Priors and Wimpstone despite no call being made in the past year.
Phone boxes are not being removed where there is no mobile coverage or in accident and suicide blackspots.
The results of the consultation were set to be discussed at a Stratford District Council cabinet meeting yesterday.