BT programme of intended public payphone removals

BT has instigated a public consultation on their proposals to remove 44 payphone callboxes within the Borough.   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, Swindon Borough Council (SBC) has been advised that as the ‘local public organisation’ it has a responsibility to consult local councils, community groups and residents.

There are 4 payphone callbox(es) within the  parish as detailed below:

Telephone  Number Location Number of calls in last 6 months
01793 831663 PCO Sywell Rd SN3 4BG 0
01793 824620 PCO Ruskin Avenue SN2 7NB 48
01793 831680 PCO Ridgeway Rd  SN2 7RX 30
01793 831677 PCO Briery Close SN3 4PA 0

BT offers 3 possible responses to the proposal to remove a callbox:

  1. Agree to the removal
  2. Adopt the callbox.  Where the local callbox is a traditional red phonebox, BT are encouraging communities to purchase for £1 in order to use the box for the benefit of the local community benefits eg as a library.
  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 callbox:
  • 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 callbox 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.  

Responses should be sent to either or Forward Planning, Swindon Borough Council, Wat Tyler West House, 5th floor, Beckhampton Street, Swindon SN1 2JG.