Published on 21st February 2017

man walking past a young tree, mobile phone to his ear, whilst traffic rushes past in the background

We recently asked for your comments regarding BT's proposal to remove 27 public payphones in Cheltenham.

Overall use of payphones has declined by over 90 per cent in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for emergency situations is falling.  

BT placed notices in all of the affected payphone boxes in September 2016 and Cheltenham Borough Council has consulted with residents through the media and with parish councils, ward councillors, residents associations and neighbourhood co-ordination groups about the proposals. The first stage of consultation ended on 13 January 2017 and following consideration of all comments received, the council has now made a draft decision about whether to agree or object to the removal of each payphone. 

These draft decisions (the First Notification) have been published and we are now in the second stage of consultation and again asking the public for further comments. 

You can find a copy of BT’s consultation letter and the First Notification and Schedule, which details the draft decision about each payphone on our website.

BT requires justification for any objection made to the removal of a payphone.  Objections can be made on the grounds that the payphone serves a social need, particularly in areas where people are less likely to have their own phone; that the payphone is well used; that there is no mobile phone coverage, or that it is likely to be needed in emergencies. 

Cllr Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for development and safety, says: “We welcome any further views from our residents on the draft decisions we have made about these public payphones and whether they are still used and needed, or whether they would be happy to see them taken away.”

Any comments that we receive will be taken into consideration in making our final decision on whether to agree to the removal of a payphone or whether to object.  Comments are invited up until Monday 13 March.  Please email [email protected], or write to Helen Down, Municipal Offices, Promenade Cheltenham, GL50 9SA

For media enquiries contact: Jemima Lawson, communications officer 01242 775 050 or [email protected]

Notes to editors:

  • Consultation notices have been placed by BT on the relevant payphones, which are in Oakley, Charlton Kings, St Marks, Warden Hill, Springbank, Prestbury, Pittville, Lansdown, Benhall, Leckhampton, Tivoli, Hatherley, Swindon Village and All Saints.
  • Under Ofcom regulations, the council must carry out a two stage consultation with the community, to allow public comment on BT's proposals.