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More than 250 BT payphone boxes across Norfolk to go as consultation into usage ends

PUBLISHED: 12:36 15 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:36 15 February 2017

Phone Box on Rouen Road. Photo by Adrian Judd

Phone Box on Rouen Road. Photo by Adrian Judd

More than 250 phone boxes are set to be removed from towns and villages across Norfolk as a consultation into their usage has drawn to an end.

BT launched the consultation in the face of the rapid rise in mobile phone ownership, leading to a 90pc fall in payphone use over the last decade.

Currently almost a third of all payphones - around 54,900 - makes less than one phone call every month.

The consultation process for payphone removal was only applicable to payphones where there’s no other payphone within 400 metres.

In this scenario BT always ask for consent from the local authority to remove the payphone, and if it’s a traditional red call box, give them the opportunity to adopt it for heritage conservation.

While Norwich district is yet to respond to the consultation after their deadline lapsed on January 8, across Norfolk local councils agreed to part with 253 payphones.

A further 57 will be adopted under the Adopt a Kiosk scheme, and 57 were objected to, with the payphones remaining for the forseeable future.

A spokesman for BT said: ““BT is committed to providing a public payphone service, but with usage declining by over 90 per cent in the last decade, we’ve continued to review and remove payphones which are no longer needed.

“Any removal of payphones is carried out in strict adherence to the Ofcom guidelines and, where appropriate, with the consent of local authorities.

“In all instances where there’s no other payphone within 400 metres, we’ll ask for consent from the local authority to remove the payphone. Where we receive objections from the local authority, we won’t remove the payphone.

“As an alternative to removal, we will continue to actively promote the Adopt a Kiosk scheme to all councils whilst being committed to maintaining the payphones that remain.”

If Norwich fail to respond to the consultation the boxes involved in their consultation will all be removed.

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