Public phone boxes across Tameside set to be axed
Wednesday 7th December 2016 12:37 Ashton Community Denton & Audenshaw Droylsden Dukinfield Hyde Mossley & Saddleworth News Stalybridge Posted by Adam Higgins

The lines could be going dead at phone boxes across Tameside in the near future as a result of cost-cutting measures by BT.

The communication giants are looking at ways to save money – starting with the public payphones.

In total, 21 boxes from across the borough are at risk of being axed – including four in each of Mossley, Hyde and Stalybridge.

Here is a full list of the potential phone box closures:

Ashton:  Newmarket Road, Stamford Square, Mossley Road
Dukinfield:  Birch Lane, Globe Square
Mossley:  Hart Mill Close, Mansfield Road, Boundary Close, Carrhill Road
Hyde:  Barley Croft Road, Victoria Street, Dowson Road, Junction Street
Stalybridge:  Ambleside, Wakefield Road, Demesne Drive, Mottram Road
Audenshaw:  Audenshaw Road, Mill Lane, Corporation Road
Droylsden:  Somerset Road

BT stress that a decision on the boxes’ future will only be decided once a three-month public consultation process is complete on January 6.

The company said in a statement: “BT is committed to providing a public payphone service, but with usage declining by over 90 per cent in the last decade, we’ve continued to review and remove payphones which are no longer needed.

“Any removal of payphones is carried out in strict adherence to the Ofcom guidelines and, where appropriate, with the consent of local authorities.

“In all instances where there’s no other payphone within 400 metres, we’ll ask for consent from the local authority to remove the payphone.

“Where we receive objections from the local authority, we won’t remove the payphone.

“As an alternative to removal, we will continue to actively promote our Adopt a Kiosk scheme to all councils whilst being committed to maintaining the payphones that remain.”

A Tameside Council spokesperson said: “We are consulting for the required 21 day period and, as part of this, will pass on any comments/objections from the public to BT.”

Payphone boxes axed by BT will have all the equipment removed and offered for ‘adoption’ for as little as a pound.

Under the scheme, decommissioned kiosks have been turned into information centres, public access defibrillators and where people can meet.

 

By Caitlin Galloway

Main picture:

Lines soon to be closed: A phone box on Market Street in Hyde (Picture by Gerald England/Geograph)