Councillors vote to oppose latest BT phone box removal plans

Councillors want to save the phone box in Hudswell. Photo: Google.

Public phone boxes provide a vital lifeline for communities in rural Richmondshire – and should not be removed, councillors have declared.

District Councillors last night unanimously objected to plans by BT to get rid of 41 pay phones across the district.

A further box will be adopted by the local parish for an alternative use.

It is the second time in the last year that the authority has objected to their removal – which BT say is necessary as the boxes are underused.

Members of Full Council were told that public consultation on the latest plans had resulted in 200 responses from local residents and community groups.

“Parishes fear that with erratic mobile phone coverage, holiday homes without landlines and poor winter weather removing the boxes would leave many of the areas vulnerable in emergencies,” said council leader, Councillor Angie Dale.

“There is a clear and over-riding need for their retention and we urge BT to re-consider their proposal and listen to local people in these deeply rural communities.

“The Yorkshire Dales National Park also said they were a vital lifeline to local visitors and residents.”

Councillors agreed that boxes should be retained in Appersett, Hardraw, Simonstone, Burtersett, Worton, Bishopdale, Newbiggin, West Burton, West Witton, Carlton, Wensley, Preston under Scar, Carperby, Gunnerside, Langthwaite, Thwaite, Reeth, Healaugh, Grinton, Marrick, Barden, Marske, East Hauxwell, Constable Burton, Finghall, Scotton,Tunstall, North Cowton, Scorton, Catterick Garrison, Hudswell, Richmond, Gilling West, Eppleby, Barton, Manfield and Newsham.

Just one parish – Dalton – agreed to adopt their kiosk.  In the past communities have re used boxes as libraries and to house defribrillators.

2 Comments

  1. We must keep public Phone Boxes, People are losing jobs, Houses, so less money, I know people who are returning phones to save monthly bills, so losing phones on roads are last things we need, more so in country side.
    Alright for those still with jobs and money, but not the poorer people.
    In case some people have not noticed we are heading back to Victorian Times.
    Houses in cities are getting over crowded, alright for rich and well off, but in REAl LIFE that’s not full story.
    Go to some cities and street phones are life lines.
    Of course B.T. Will not tell you the truth.

  2. I find it a worry as not everyone owns or wants to a mobile phone. I feel under increased pressure and freedom of choice is ebbing away sadly.

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