Have your say on BT phone box removals

Posted on: 7 October 2016

Have your say on BT proposals to remove 52 public phone boxes across North Devon.

North Devon Council is carrying out a community consultation, to find out what local people think about British Telecom’s plans to remove phone boxes in the district.

The 52 phone boxes are listed on the council’s website (www.northdevon.gov.uk/consultations), along with the number of calls made from each phone box in the last 12 months. BT proposes to remove these pay phones on the basis of low usage and the extent of mobile network coverage.

The consultation process also gives local communities the opportunity to adopt a traditional red ‘heritage’ phone box and make them a community asset.

North Devon Council Leader, Councillor Des Brailey, said: “The council has been made responsible for coordinating consultation responses to these proposals and we will be responding to BT on a case by case basis (whether the proposed loss of the phone box is agreed, objected to or whether the community wish to adopt the box themselves).

“We have already contacted parish councils for their views, but I also urge local residents to take a look at our website to find out which phone boxes are in question and whether they agree or disagree to them being removed.”

Comments must be received by 11 November 2016, either by email to planningcomments@northdevon.gov.uk (marked ‘Phone box removal’ and identifying the phone box in question) or by post to Strategic Development and Planning, North Devon Council, Lynton House, Commercial Road, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 1DG.

4 comments on “Have your say on BT phone box removals

  1. Claire says:

    There is no doubt a huge cost in removing these phone booths, but with a solid infrastructure already in place it seems hasty. There is a real opportunity to upgrade these booths to support local communities and tourism in the area. What about providing information about the local area including local attractions, shops,restaurants, health services? Directions with print outs? Top up phone services or for local public transport? At the very least these should remain as emergency contact points. Payment options should include paywave, Apple Pay etc. Consider how the massive cost and upheaval could be better spent on modernisation and free access to information to help the community.

  2. Kieron Skelton says:

    The iconic “Red British Phone box” for me is really important to the laws of health and safety, without them, how do you expect anyone to contact the public services in the event of an emergency if they don’t have a phone themselves?

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