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End of the line for more phone boxes that nobody uses

PUBLISHED: 14:27 18 July 2019 | UPDATED: 19:07 18 July 2019

BT is consulting on removing 18 more phone boxes from across South Norfolk. Picture: Getty

BT is consulting on removing 18 more phone boxes from across South Norfolk. Picture: Getty

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Once a vital link but now almost obsolete more phone boxes have been earmarked for removal from towns and villages in Norfolk.

The payphone at Mere Street in Diss is one of 18 that BT wants to remove due to low useage. Picture: Simon ParkinThe payphone at Mere Street in Diss is one of 18 that BT wants to remove due to low useage. Picture: Simon Parkin

BT has begun consultation on its plans to hang up on a further 18 phone boxes across South Norfolk, which are rarely if ever used for their intended purpose.

With a mobile phone now in most people's pockets usage has plummeted making the maintenance and upkeep costs untenable for the affected payphones, which range from modern kiosks to some of the iconic red phone boxes that have served communities for decades.

Among those that will be removed if the plans go ahead are phone boxes in Wymondham; Hethersett; Poringland; Framingham Pigot; Alpington; Hedenham; Langley; Marlingford; Barford; Stockton; Dickleburgh; and at Haddiscoe railway station.

The red phone box in Trowse could be removed though the local community is being offered the chance to adopt it for other uses. Picture: Evelyn SimakThe red phone box in Trowse could be removed though the local community is being offered the chance to adopt it for other uses. Picture: Evelyn Simak

The payphone at the Mere Mouth in Diss will also be removed, as will the red village phone box outside the White House pub in Trowse, while two will be closed in Long Stratton.

A BT spokesperson said: "Most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from our public telephones have fallen by around 90pc in the past decade. We consider a number of factors before consulting on the removal of payphones, including whether others are available nearby and usage.

"In South Norfolk, we have made applications to remove 18 payphones in the area, all of which are still under consultation."

Mobile phones has seen the use of payphone fakll by 90%. BT wants to remove phone boxes including this one in Dickleburgh. Picture: GoogleMobile phones has seen the use of payphone fakll by 90%. BT wants to remove phone boxes including this one in Dickleburgh. Picture: Google

Town and parish councils are being asked for their views as part of the Ofcom agreed 90 day consultation period, which runs until September 15.

They are also being given the option of adopting the defunct red boxes for alternative community uses.

Already in Norfolk some former phone boxes have been turned into mini libraries, information points or to house defibrillators. Elsewhere some have been to even more novel uses as cake shops, mini museums and even tiny nightclubs.

The BT spokesman said: "As part of the consultation we are also offering communities the chance to adopt traditional red 'heritage' phone boxes for just £1 through our Adopt a Kiosk scheme and transform them into something inspirational for their local area."

- For more details about the scheme visit bt.com/adopt



FULL LIST OF BT PAYPHONES EARMARKED FOR REMOVAL

- Mere Street, Diss

- Rectory Road, Dickleburgh

- Oaklands/Norwich Road, Poringland

- The Street, Framingham Pigot

- Manor Road/Flowerpot Lane, Long Stratton

- Swan Lane, Long Stratton

- Railway Station, Station Road, Haddiscoe

- Outside Beauchamp Arms, Langley

- Outside The Mermaid, Norwich Road, Hedenham

- Church Meadow, Alpington

- Bungay Road, Stockton

- Howe Green, Howe

- The Street, Trowse

- Richmond Road/Chestnut Close, Costessey

- West Croft, Hethersett

- Tuttles Lane East, Wymondham

- Church Lane, Barford

- Barford Road, Marlingford

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