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Council Looks Set to Fight Phone Box Closures

Published Thursday, 05 December 2019

Ribble Valley Borough Council looks set to fight the proposed closure of a raft of public payphones.

BT is proposing to remove phone boxes from 40 village centres and remote spots in Ribble Valley.

But the council aims to put up a fight after consulting parish councils, who claim they offer a vital lifeline to isolated communities.

BT wants to axe phone boxes where usage has allegedly declined by 90 per cent or more, but will keep them in service if communities object.

Alison Brown, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning committee, said: “The council is coordinating the community response to the proposed closures and has sent its initial findings to BT.

“The mobile phone reception in Ribble Valley is patchy and there are numerous wireless ‘not spots’ in the borough, so some phone boxes provide a vital service.

“We contacted parish councils for their views on the proposed closures and now want to hear what residents think.”

Under Ofcom regulations, if BT wants to remove a phone box and there isn’t another within 400m, they must consult local councils and their communities.

Ribble Valley Borough Council has written to BT and the Government objecting to the proposed closures.

And if the objection is backed by the general public it is likely the phone boxes will remain in service.

To have your say contact Ribble Valley Borough Council’s regeneration team on 01200 425111 by noon on Friday 3 January.

To find out if your local phone box is under threat or for more information, see Phone Box Removal.


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