BT asks Northampton communities to 'adopt' their telephone boxes or 15 will be axed

More than a dozen Northampton telephone boxes could be axed by BT before Christmas.
More than a dozen Northampton telephone boxes could be axed by BT before Christmas.

BT is asking Northampton residents if they would like to keep their public payphones, as part of a 90-day consultation.

Fifteen public payphones in Northampton have been proposed for removal by BT after 90 per cent of callers have ditched phone boxes for mobile phones in the past decade.

But as part of the consultation BT is offering communities the chance to adopt traditional red ‘heritage’ phone boxes for just £1 through their 'Adopt a Kiosk' scheme in a bid to transform them into something inspirational.

‘Modern’ telephone boxes have been adopted by communities in more rural parts of the UK, if required for specific purposes (for example to house a defibrillator).

The payphones under review in Northampton are situated in: Billing Brook Road, Broomhill Crescent, Glebeland Road, Harlestone Road and Broadmead Avenue, Norman Road, Newnham Road, Link Road, Reynard Way, Olden Road, Blackthorn Local Centre, Chiltern Avenue , Churchill Avenue, Kettering Road and Weggs Farm Road.

A BT spokeswoman 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."

"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.”