Are York’s public payphones doomed?

As we reported yesterday, BT have applied to the York Council for permission to remove two public payphones (one in Acomb Wood Drive and the other in Wains Grove).

OFCOM gives guidance on the procedure to be used when requests like these are received.

It has become clear today that, across the City, several other payphones are set to be axed. 26 removals are listed now on the York Council’s web site. Although received 3 weeks ago, the applications have only just come to light.

Residents have until 19th October to respond to the plans.

Some kioks are listed

Some kiosk are listed

Unfortunately, the Council has not published any useful information about the payphones. In other parts of the country proposals like these have been accompanied by details of the number of calls made from the payphones in question.

In particular the number of 101 and 999 calls made from the phones has been revealed.

In Scotland, BT plan to remove 1500 kiosks. The proposal has had a lot of publicity. The issue there is more complex because some of the payphones serve remote rural areas where cell phone coverage can be poor.

No such lists have been produced for the York area. We would expect that Councillors would have, by now, had the opportunity to consult on the plans. They should be checking on the number of emergency calls made from the payphones and also the adequacy of cell net alternatives.

Some of York’s kiosks, like the one in Duncombe Place, are “Listed”. The red K6 design is regarded as an iconic part of the traditional British streetscape. So far none of the Listed kiosk have been threatened with removal.

No one expects public facilities that are not being used to continue to be provided without at least a review. Indeed, some of the BT kiosks have been looking quite tawdry recently (Kingsway West, Foxwood shops, Cornlands Road) while many are easy targets for fly-posters.

Some are magnets for crime of one sort or another.

Some Payphones are run down

Some Payphones are run down

But we do believe that any plan to remove payphones should be transparent.

& that means publishing a full list – and usage statistics –  for all Payphones which could face closure over the next few years.

NB: 93% of the UK population now have the use of a mobile phone. There are 92 million mobile phone subscriptions in the UK (Source OFCOM).  OFCOM claims that we are “spending two hours online on our smartphones every day” There are also 33 million landlines in our homes.

The Payphone kiosks listed to be removed include:

Telephone Box Adjacent 159 Mount Vale York

Ref. No: 16/02131/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Adjacent Wains House Wains Grove York

Ref. No: 16/02137/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box At Junction Of Beckfield Lane And Fellbrook Avenue York

Ref. No: 16/02148/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Adjacent 1 The Village Haxby York

Ref. No: 16/02145/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016 | Validated: Fri 16 Sep 2016 | Status: Awaiting decision

Telephone Box Adjacent 150 Holgate Road York

Ref. No: 16/02130/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Kiosk Opposite Acomb Wood Shopping Centre Acomb Wood Drive York

Ref. No: 16/02147/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016 | Validated: Fri 16 Sep 2016 | Status: Awaiting decision

Telephone Box Outside Cemetery Fordlands Road York

Ref. No: 16/02132/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Tephone Box Outside The Black Horse The Village Wigginton York

Ref. No: 16/02142/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box At Junction Of James Nicolson Link And Kettlestring Lane York

Ref. No: 16/02134/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box At Junction Of Bishopthorpe Road And Balmoral Terrace York

Ref. No: 16/02133/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Adjacent The Willows Wetherby Road Rufforth York

Ref. No: 16/02140/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016 | Validated: Fri 16 Sep 2016 | Status: Awaiting decision

Telephone Box At Junction Of Osbaldwick Lane And Tang Hall Lane York

Ref. No: 16/02126/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Outside Fox Public House The Village Stockton On The Forest York

Ref. No: 16/02125/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016 | Validated: Fri 16 Sep 2016 | Status: Awaiting decision

Telephone Box Adjacent Pippin Barn Main Street Hessay York

Ref. No: 16/02141/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box At High Grange Moor Lane Haxby York

Ref. No: 16/02144/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Adjacent 99 Main Street Askham Bryan York

Ref. No: 16/02135/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Adjacent 147 Beckfield Lane York

Ref. No: 16/02149/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Whitby Avenue York

Ref. No: 16/02128/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Adjacent 11 Viking Road York

Ref. No: 16/02150/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Opposite 125 – 127 Bad Bargain Lane York

Ref. No: 16/02127/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Opposite Station House Common Road Dunnington York

Ref. No: 16/02129/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016 |

Telephone Box Adjacent Old Joiners Cottage Main Street Askham Richard York

Ref. No: 16/02138/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Adjacent Mill Cottage Mill Lane Acaster Malbis York

Ref. No: 16/02136/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box At Junction Of Brecks Lane And New Lane Huntington York

Ref. No: 16/02143/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Outside Telephone Exchange York Road Deighton York

Ref. No: 16/02139/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

Telephone Box Adjacent 43 North Moor Road Huntington York

Ref. No: 16/02146/TCNOT | Received: Fri 16 Sep 2016

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