Sidmouth payphone – used just three times in a year – faces being scrapped

A payphone at a Sidmouth beauty spot faces being scrapped – as it has been used just three times in a year.

BT wants to remove the kiosk at Connaught Gardens, off Peak Hill Road, and a host of others in East Devon.

The telecommunications giant says calls from them have declined by 90 per cent in a decade.

It is carrying out a public consultation over the move and has asked local authorities what they think.

BT says a trio of calls have been made from the Connaught Gardens payphone in the last 12 months.

Sidmouth Town Council will discuss the proposal and decide whether it wishes to object to the kiosk’s removal at its meeting on Monday (January 6).

The payphone in Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth, has only been used three times in a year.

The payphone in Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth, has only been used three times in a year.

A BT spokesperson said: “Overall use of payphones has declined by 90 per cent in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is 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.”

A 42-day consultation over the Connaught Gardens phone box began on November 14 last year.

The UK’s communications regulator Ofcom says 20 per cent of public call boxes have not been used to make a call in the last year.

Some 94 per cent of adults personally use a mobile phone and 98 per cent of premises have 3G or 4G coverage.

BT is giving communities the chance to ‘adopt’ traditional red phone boxes for £1.

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