Consultation launched on plans to remove 21 payphones from across Wakefield
A consultation has been launched on the future of payphones in Wakefield, as BT announces plans to remove 21 phones across the district.
Phones from across the district, including Ossett, Walton, Normanton, Castleford and Featherstone, could be removed,
Several of the phones included in the consultation have been used only twice in the last year.
A consultation notice has been posted on each of the relevant payphones.
There are currently 115 pay phones in the Wakefield district, according to BT. The current consultation could see 18 per cent of these removed from service.
Wakefield Council has been offered the chance to object to the removals, and is asking the public for their opinions.
According to BT, payphone use has declined by more than 90 per cent in the last decade.
A BT spokesperson said: “Most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from our public telephones have fallen by around 90 per cent 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.
"We are consulting with Wakefield Council on the removal of 21 phone boxes in the area, providing the community the chance to comment on our proposals.
"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 visit bt.com/adopt.
"The need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is also diminishing all the time, with at least 98 per cent of the UK having either 3G or 4G coverage. This is important because as long as there is network coverage, it’s now possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no credit or no coverage from your own mobile provider.”
Local communities are being offered the chance to 'adopt' a traditional red phone box for £1, as part of a project to save the recognisable units.
Last year, a phone box in Horbury became one of the smallest art galleries in the world.
The consultation, launched by BT last month, offers Wakefield Council 90 days to object to the removals.
Anyone who wishes to make a comment on the proposed removal of the phone boxes is asked to contact the Council before midnight on Wednesday, October 9.
After this date, the council will make an initial decision on whether to object to the removal of any of the payphones and publish this for consultation for a further 30 days.
Wakefield Council must send a final decision, including details on any communities who wish to adopt a phone box, by Tuesday, November 26.
For contact information regarding the consultation, click here.