Kiosk at Walpole Cross Keys. Picture: Tony Jones.

Nearly one hundred public telephone boxes in West Norfolk could be scrapped under new proposals.

BT has launched a 90-day consultation on plans to remove 97 payphones, including a number of the classic red kiosks, from across the borough.

Kiosk at Terrington St Clement which is one of the 97 set to go following proposals by BT. Picture: Tony Jones.
Kiosk at Terrington St Clement which is one of the 97 set to go following proposals by BT. Picture: Tony Jones.

Under Ofcom rules, the telecommunications company must have the local authority’s consent to remove a payphone when there is not another within 400 metres.

BT has sent West Norfolk Council written notification of its plans and it has until January 20 to respond.

A spokesman said payphone usage had declined more than 90 per cent in the last decade because of the huge rise in mobile phone ownership.

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

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

BT has sent the borough council a list of the phone boxes it wants to remove and it includes details of their usage over the  past 12 months.

A kiosk in Newlands Avenue, in King’s Lynn, was used to make 334 calls and more than 100 calls were made from a phone box in Hanse Road on Lynn’s Hardwick Industrial Estate.

But 43 phone boxes in the borough had not been used for a year.

These include West Road, Shouldham Thorpe, Millgate Street, Methwold, and Beach Road, Snettisham.

BT is consulting on plans to remove phone boxes across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, including 16 in Fenland.

As an alternative to removing phone boxes, BT has said it will continue to promote its Adopt a Kiosk scheme.

The initiative allows towns and parishes to buy a decommissioned red phone box for £1.

Thousands of communities up and down the country have given their kiosks a new lease of life, putting them to good use.

Examples include kiosks being used as a book exchange, defibrillator station and an art gallery.

Find out more online at: www.business.bt.com

To see the full list of the 97 phone boxes affected, go to the planning section of the council’s website at www.west-norfolk.gov.uk and search for 16/01838/BT