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Consultation on BT programme of intended public payphone removals

BT has launched a public consultation on its proposals to remove eight phone boxes across our borough, including two traditional red heritage payphone boxes.

Notices have been posted in each of the relevant phone boxes to inform users and passers-by of the proposals and the consultation process.

In addition, Burnley Council has been advised that, as the local public organisation, it has a responsibility to consult local councils, community groups and residents.

BT offers three possible responses to the proposal to remove a callbox:

1. Agree to the removal
2. Adopt the phone box - where the phonebox is a traditional red phonebox, BT is encouraging communities to purchase the box for £1 in order to use it for the benefit of the local community. Further information on this process can be found at: https://bt.com/adopt
3. Object to the removal - Ofcom Regulations state that BT has a duty to provide ‘reasonable geographic access to public call boxes’ and offer the following as relevant factors to consider in relation to each call box:
• Whether the area in which the box is located has a relatively high proportion of people on low incomes or in rented properties who could be less likely to have access to mobile or fixed line telephones.
• Whether the area requires a phone box for emergency calls, perhaps near an accident black spot or near to a community facility.
• Whether the area has poor or sporadic mobile network coverage.
• The level of call volumes made from call box which can give an indication as to its usefulness or value to the community.

A case will need to be argued for each objection, backed up with evidence.

The consultation period will close on the 27th January 2020 and responses should be sent to planning@burnley.gov.uk or Development Management, Burnley Borough Council, Town Hall, Manchester Road, Burnley, Lancashire. BB11 9SA.

The boxes affected and how often they were used over the past 12 months can be found here

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