Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Unwanted phone boxes set for new lease of life

SIX red telephone boxes in Caversham and Emmer Green looked to have been saved.

BT is carrying out public consultation on payphones in the area which it believes are no longer needed.

Reading Borough Council says it wants to retain four of the kiosks with the most use and is proposing that two more are taken over by Caversham and District Residents’ Association and Emmer Green Residents’ Association.

A group or parish council can adopt a phone box and once ownership is transferred BT will remove the phone.

Disused kiosks in the Henley area have been put to a range of uses.

Defibrillators have been installed in those in Whitchurch and Checkendon, while the one in Highmoor is full of old photographs of the village and the one in Sonning Common is filled with flowers.

The phone boxes in Caversham and Emmer Green that are likely to be retained are as follows: Off Henley Road and Queensway, Caversham, at the junction of Clifton Park Road and Albert Road, Caversham (proposed adoption by residents’ association), Milestone Way shops, Buckingham Drive, Emmer Green, junction of St Barnabas Road and Grove Road, Emmer Green, junction of Peppard Road and Surley Row, Emmer Green, and at the junction of Courtenay Drive and Peppard Road, Emmer Green (proposed adoption by residents’ association).

The boxes in the shoppers’ car park in Farnham Drive, Caversham, and at the junction of Upper Warren Avenue and River Road, Caversham, are likely to be removed.

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

“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.”

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