Phone boxes up for adoption

Published on: 28 Oct 2016

The number's up for several phone boxes in our area because so many of us now use mobiles.

BT is proposing to remove 93 kiosks across South Gloucestershire that are deemed unnecessary.

However, if you want to rescue a heritage red telephone box for your community, you can 'adopt' it for just £1.

That's what has happened in Shortwood, where the kiosk now houses a defibrillator and is surrounded by an attractive garden area.

In other parts of the country, residents have turned phone boxes into libraries, information centres and art galleries. Some kiosks are also used to house cash machines, while others are sold to private buyers.

The phone boxes at risk of removal include one at Springfield Avenue in Mangotsfield, which, according to BT figures,  has not had any calls made from it in the last 12 months. Others on the list include those at Cossham Street outside the former post office (seven calls), Windsor Place (68), Dibden Road (63) and Emerson Way (24). Another near North View in Staple Hill is also on the list, having fallen prey to vandals.

Notices have been posted on all the threatenened kiosks. The full list is available online and people have until November 7 to send comments to BT. South Gloucestershire Council will then make an initial decision on which should stay and which go. The public will have four weeks to comment on  that before the final decision.

Payphones that are still in frequent use, are considered to meet a social need, or are near suicide or accident blackspots, will not be removed.

The council's consultation document says: “Overall use of payphones has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is diminishing all the time.”

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