Crisis talks are being held between borough and parish councillors in order to save phone boxes in the Ribble Valley from the chop.
As reported in The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times (October 27th edition), BT is proposing to remove 50 telephone boxes from the rural borough after a “usage decline of 90% in the past decade”.
The move has prompted a backlash from residents, especially those living in remote rural villages, who fear they will end up isolated.
The proposals were discussed recently by members of the Parish Council’s Liaison Committee. Chairman, David Pete, said: “Yes there are grave concerns. Most people do have mobile phones, but equally there are parts of the Ribble Valley where the mobile phone signal is patchy. The BT phone boxes are there for the community and vital during an emergency. They are a lifeline for people living in remote villages where trying to obtain a mobile phone signal is extremely difficult. Finally, Ribble Valley residents feel more and more public services are being taken away from us for example, bus services, closures of village libraries etc. If this continues, we will become more and more isolated.
“Parish councils are holding urgent talks with Ribble Valley councillors in order to maintain the telephone boxes.”