Communities urged to think outside the box to save Norwich and Broadland payphones

EDP Photo Essay.The face of our rural county is changing as more and more red phone boxes become red

EDP Photo Essay.The face of our rural county is changing as more and more red phone boxes become redundant and British Telecom loose the market they had to the mobile phone. Some villages have managed to keep thier phoneless phone boxes, keeping the loved look of the landscape so familiar to us even if we can no longer "phone home".Pictures taken near Tunstead.Photo: Simon FinlayCopy: Simon Finlay.For: EDP NewsEDP pics © 2009(01603) 772434 - Credit: Archant © 2009

More than 50 public telephone boxes in Norwich and Broadland look set to disappear - unless communities come forward to 'adopt them'.

The rise of the mobile phone means the traditional payphone has been vanishing from streets up and down the country.

And BT has just identified 56 public payphones in villages and parishes across the Broadland district and 17 in Norwich which it wants to remove.

BT has placed consultation notices on the relevant kiosks and has sent written notification to local councils and communities.

They now have a matter of weeks to make the case for the boxes to remain as functioning phones or to rally together to adopt one of the red 'heritage' kiosks for £1 to turn them into a local asset.


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BT says overall use of payphones has declined by more than 90pc in the past decade, with at least 98pc of the UK having either 3G or 4G coverage.

They say phone boxes are not being removed where there is no network coverage, in accident blackspots, and a number of other locations which meet certain criteria.

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

'As an alternative to removal, we will continue to actively promote the Adopt a Kiosk scheme to all council while being committed to maintaining the payphones that remain.'

Former Campaign to Protect Rural England chairman Ian Shepherd said: 'Ideally there needs to be another use for phone boxes rather than just leaving them standing.'

Anyone who wants to adopt a phone box should visit https://business.bt.com/solutions/small-business/communities/adopt-a-kiosk/

What do you think? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

More than 50 phone boxes could be removed

The rise of the mobile phone means the traditional payphone has been vanishing from streets up and down the country. And BT has just identified 56 public payphones in villages and parishes across the Broadland district which it wants to remove.

BT has placed consultation notices on the relevant kiosks and has sent written notification to Broadland District Council. Officers from the council are alerting parishes about the potential removal. Parish now have a matter of weeks to make the case for the boxes to remain as functioning phones or to rally together to adopt one of the red 'heritage' kiosks for £1 to turn them into a local asset.

BT says overall use of payphones has declined by more than 90pc in the last decade, with at least 98pc of the UK having either 3G or 4G coverage.

They say phone boxes are not being removed where there is no network coverage, in accident blackspots, and a number of other locations which meet certain criteria.

People who want to object to the removal of a phone box should notify Broadland District Council of their reasons as soon as possible, but no later than November 30. Objections should be emailed to nigel.harris@broadland.gov.uk

Anyone who wants to adopt a phone box should visit this website

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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