Please don't take our payphones say parish councils

Please don't take our payphones say parish councils

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:23am 17th December 2019.

Parish councils throughout rural Dorset are asking BT not to remove their public pay phone boxes.

Around 70 phone boxes have been ear-marked for removal for low use, with BT arguing that much of the area has a good mobile phone signal.

In many locations where the removal is suggested, but not opposed, the distinctive red boxes may be ‘adopted’ by community groups, or parish councils, for a nominal £1 fee.

Maiden Newton parish council is objecting to the removal of the box at Newton Road but will not object to the removal of the payphone at Chilfrome Lane and would like to adopt it.

red phone box

In Sydling St Nicholas the parish council is objecting to the removal of the box in the High Street saying there is virtually no mobile phone signal in the Chalke Valley. The same argument is used to keep both boxes at Buckland Newton and Henley with a 38-signature petition collected.

Piddle Valley parish council object to the removal of the boxes at Wightmans Orchard, Piddletrenthide and Rectory Road, Piddlehinton.

At Stratton the parish council is objecting to the removal of the box outside the former Bull Inn in Dorchester Road.

Stratton Phone Box - Pamela Clark-Simpson

In Charminster the parish council has not objected to the removal of the box at Cocklands but will adopt the box on North Street.

Chickerell parish council has not objected to the removal of three boxes but is objecting to the removal of the one at Chickerell Road/Putton Lane. It says the 46 calls made in the past six months were probably from elderly people who live in the area.

At Winterborne Abbas the parish council says the phone box near the garage should be retained.

Among the other parish councils voting against the removal of their BT phone box is Char Valley Parish Council. They say the box at Whitechurch Canonicorum should be kept because there is a defibrillator outside the village hall and the mobile phone connection in the area is not good.

Chideock parish council has raised an objection to the proposed removal of the phone box on the A35. It says the box could be a life-saver.

phone box

Askerswell parish council has also objected to the removal of its phone box. Councillor say low use is not likely to be a reliable indicator of the importance of the phone box and is essential for emergency us as much of the village has, at best, an unreliable mobile phone signal.

Beaminster parish council has objected to the removal of the box at Hoggs Hill but has made no comment on the future of the box at Pound Lane, Burstock or at Mosterton Cross, Mosterton.

Broadwindsor parish council would like to keep the box at Drimpton Road where they say the mobile signal is poor.

South Perrott parish council is objecting to the removal of the box on the A356 in the centre of the village. They say it is the only box between Crewkerne and Maiden Newton with the area having a poor mobile phone signal.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter