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New Forest District Council backs removal of 10 payphones

UP to 10 New Forest payphones are set to disappear after the district council decided against objecting to their removal.

Operator BT said 12 should be removed in total, but two of those are being defended by Cllr Diane Andrews, NFDC’s cabinet member for planning, regeneration and infrastructure.

One is at a layby near the Cartwheel Inn at Whitsbury and the other is at Rockbourne, near Fordingbridge.

The phone box at Rockbourne (picture: Google) (48096654)
The phone box at Rockbourne (picture: Google) (48096654)

Cllr Andrews justified her call by stating both payphones were close to areas of council housing and in areas of poor reception for mobile phones.

BT can oppose their retention and a final decision will be made by a government minister.

Cllr Andrews also backed a request by Ellingham and Harbridge Parish Council by calling for a delay to removing the payphone at Linwood Road, near Ringwood, until mobile phone coverage gets better there. It has worsened after the recent removal of an EE mast.

But she did not object to nine other payphones going in Barton, Blackfield, Exbury, Fawley, Keyhaven, Lymington, New Milton, Milford and Totton.

A report noted that each had been use minimally in the past 12 months, were unlikely to be needed in an emergency and were in areas with good mobile phone coverage.

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