Phone boxes face the axe

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BLACKPOOL could be bidding farewell to five per cent of it’s phone boxes in a nation-wide cull announced by BT.

Out of 165 payphones in the seaside resort, nine are under threat as the telecommunications provider says they are not used enough.

The revelations come after the UK company said that use of the payphones has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade.

Of the nine earmarked for removal data from BT shows that one was not used at all in the last year with the kiosk in Park Road used 524 times in the same period.

It comes as BT has announced that almost a third of public phone boxes across Lancashire could be axed.

The firm has entered into a 90-day consultation period over the proposals to give residents the chance to have their say about the plans.

However the cull has sparked warnings that it could see the elderly or people who cannot afford mobile phones further isolated.

Other concerns voiced include the need for payphones in areas with patchy mobile phone coverage.

Labour councillor Allan Matthews (Tyldesley) at Blackpool Council said: “I haven’t had any complaints about it yet but it would be a shame to close any really.

“I know they say there are lots of mobile phones but there are areas within the town that you can’t get reception - even on the Promenade actually.

“Also people need them to call the emergency services.”

A spokesman from BT said that although the company is committed to providing a public payphone service, the use of them has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade.

“We’ve continued to review and remove payphones which are no longer needed,” the spokesman said.

“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.”

BT has urged residents to email their concerns as soon as possible on this issue to btp.authorisation.team@bt.com or write to BT Payphones, 4th Floor Monument TE, 11 – 13 Great Tower Street, London, EC3R 5AQ.

The consultation period in Blackpool finishes on December 15.

Nine kiosks out of 165 could see the chop in Blackpool.

Here is a list of where they are and the number of calls which were made from each payphone in the last 12 months:

O/S PELHAM MOUNT CLUB PARK ROAD BLACKPOOL 542

NEAR RAILWAY BRIDGE WATSON ROAD BLACKPOOL 124

OUTSIDE OF 372 ST ANNES RD ST. ANNES ROAD BLACKPOOL 113

OUTSIDE OF 176/180 ABBEY RD ABBEY ROAD BLACKPOOL 40

JCN SQUIRES GATE LANE SYCAMORE AVENUE BLACKPOOL 1

JUNCTION OF HOLYOAKE AVE HOLYOAKE AVENUE BLACKPOOL 322

OPPOSITE OF SHOPS GUILDFORD AVENUE BLACKPOOL 2

JCT SCHOOL RD/MARTON MOSS SCHOOL ROAD BLACKPOOL 8

JCT LANGDALE RD/RUSLAND AVE LANGDALE ROAD BLACKPOOL 0

Seventeen kiosks could see the chop in Fylde.

Here is a list of where they are and the number of calls which were made from each payphone in the last 12 months:

JUNCTION OF BALLAM ROAD WEST MOSS LANE LYTHAM ST ANNES - 1

OUTSIDE OF 68 ALBANY ROAD ALBANY ROAD LYTHAM ST ANNES - 0

OPP OF 264 ST DAVIDS RD NTH ST. DAVIDS ROAD NORTH LYTHAM ST ANNES - 9

NEAR OF 1 NORTH HOUSES LANE NORTH HOUSES LANE LYTHAM ST ANNES - 11

O/S POST OFFICE KILNHOUSE LANE LYTHAM ST ANNES - 219

JN PRESTON NEW RD PEEL RD BLACKPOOL - 2

O/S EAGLE & CHILD HOTEL WEETON VILLAGE WEETON PRESTON - 1

OUTSIDE OF BLUE ANCHOR HOTEL FLEETWOOD ROAD GREENHALGH PRESTON - 12

O/S OF SINGLETON S.P.O LODGE LANE SINGLETON POULTON LE FYLDE - 1

OPPOSITE OF SHARD LANE MAINS LANE POULTON LE FYLDE - 6

JCT BUSH LANE/CLIFTON PLACE CLIFTON PLACE FRECKLETON PRESTON - 131

OUTSIDE 1 PLUMPTON LANE THE CROFT GREAT PLUMPTON PRESTON - 1

JCT LOWER LANE/ ANSON RD ANSON RD FRECKLETON PRESTON - 216

JCT MYRTLE DRIVE/DOWBRIDGE DOWBRIDGE KIRKHAM PRESTON - 16

ADJ HAND AND DAGGER TREALES ROAD SALWICK PRESTON - 0

ADJ EAGLE AND CHILD WHARLES VILLAGE WHARLES PRESTON - 2

O/S SHIP INN HIGH STREET RONWOOD CLOSE ELSWICK PRESTON - 17