BT prepares to scrap five phone boxes across Brighton and Hove

Posted On 18 Aug 2020 at 7:00 pm

BT is preparing to scrap five phone boxes across Brighton and Hove after the monthly number of calls made from each payphone dropped into single figures.

The phone box on the edge of Hove Park in Goldstone Crescent opposite the corner of The Droveway

The phone operator said that at one of the boxes no one made any calls in an average month.

It has started a public consultation about its plans to remove the five phone boxes, with help from Brighton and Hove City Council.

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The council said: “British Telecom would like to remove five on-street payphones in various locations in the city as they are not being used enough.

“BT is seeking to find out what local people think about the plans.

“All residents are encouraged to participate and tell us whether they agree or disagree with the proposed phone boxes being removed and the reasons why.

“It doesn’t take long to provide your opinion and your views will help us provide a picture to BT of what people in the city think about their proposals.

“The council is co-ordinating residents’ responses to the consultation on behalf of BT.

“Please send your comments by Wednesday 16 September by email to planning.comments@brighton-hove.gov.uk marked ‘Phone box removal – 08/2020’.

“Please also identify the phone box telephone number of the phone box you are commenting about.

“You can also write to Head of Planning, City Development and Regeneration, Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove, BN3 3BQ.

“The proposals will also be shared with the ward councillors for each location.”

The phone box numbers and locations are

  • 01273 508854 – Hove Park opposite 51 Goldstone Crescent, Hove BN3 6LR, opposite the corner of The Droveway – 0 average calls a month
  • 01273 771971 – outside 1 Richardson Road, Hove BN3 5RB – 7 average calls a month
  • 01273 505352 – outside Asda superstore, 1 Crowhurst Road, Brighton BN1 8AS – 4 average calls a month
  • 01273 508820 – opposite 167 Carden Avenue, Brighton BN1 8LA, on the corner of Wilmington Parade – 1 average call a month
  • 01273 607102 – outside 162 Heath Hill Avenue, Brighton BN2 4LS, on the corner of Bodiam Way – 1 average call a month

The council added: “All of the boxes concerned are modern kiosks and not the iconic red telephone boxes that can still be found in a few locations, mainly in the city centre.

“Overall use of payphones has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is diminishing all the time, with at least 98 per cent of the UK having mobile coverage.

“Ofcom’s research into consumer views on the importance of communications services and their affordability found that most people no longer view payphones as essential for consumers in most circumstances.

“As long as there is mobile network coverage, it’s possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no coverage from your own mobile network provider.”

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    Wasn’t there a thriller some while ago called Phone Box? It must now seem a period piece.

    Meanwhile, in these covid times, who would be so rash as to stand inside one of those smelly boxes and hold that receiver close even to a masked face?

    Much as I like the Gilbert Scott boxes, they will also go (and I shudder to think that they can be regarded as a token replacement for well-stocked, fully-staffed libraries).

    Perhaps somebody could design a cellphone cover that looks like a Gilbert Scott box?

    • Peter Challis Reply

      I thought you’d have posted something about Nancy Platts’s idea to turn them into libraries?

      • Frank le Duc Reply

        Hi Peter, it’s one of the links under the story.

      • Christopher Hawtree Reply

        Alex Johnson did a little book about these. It includes an elephant which carries books into the remote parts of Africa every week or two.

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