Richmondshire District Council

Objections to removal of BT pay phones

Public phone boxes provide a vital lifeline for communities in rural Richmondshire and should not be removed.

District Councillors last night (October 20) 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 reused boxes as libraries and to house defribrillators.

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