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Public payphone box at junction of High Street and The Hill, Freshford

posted 19 Oct 2016, 01:29 by Parish Council Communications
BT is running, via B&NES, a consultation on the future of this phone box. Use of payphones has declined rapidly in recent years. BT has stated that this particular box has been used just 7 times over the last 12 months. BT plans to remove this box unless it can be convinced otherwise. There is a consultation running until 25th November.

We can:
  • Object to the removal of the telephone box.
  • Support the removal of the telephone box.
  • Apply for Freshford Parish Council to ‘adopt’ the telephone box, as an asset for the community, although no longer containing a functioning payphone.
‘Adoption’ is explained in the leaflet which can be downloaded here  Please note that a box may not be adopted by individuals but only by a local authority or parish council or by a registered charity.

The Parish Council has had a preliminary discussion on this matter. Our intention is to object to the removal of the box, on the grounds that the very poor mobile signal in the area may mean that a public payphone could be the only way for residents and visitors to make calls, particularly in emergencies. 

Failing that, the PC is not minded to ‘adopt’ the box:
  • Contrary to what BT seems to think, it is not one of the red ‘heritage’ boxes, being a more recent glass-sided design.
  • We already have, at the Galleries, a defibrillator, which is one of the possible uses suggested for a box when adopted by the community.
  • We are reluctant to place a financial burden on future precept payers for ongoing maintenance, insurance and ultimate removal, unless there is a clear and compelling reason to retain the non-functioning box for the community's benefit.
Residents are invited to submit any comments they may wish to make to B&NES, before 25th November 2016. The contact is Julie O’Rourke and her email is julie_orourke@bathnes.gov.uk. Please be sure to clarify the box you are commenting on - BT refers to it as "Outside the Church, High Street, Freshford BA2 7WF".

In addition, if you like to send a copy of your comments to Communications@FreshfordVillage.com by 9th November 2016, your views will be taken into consideration by the Parish Council at our meeting on 14th November before we agree our response.