Time to introduce payphone charter
A copy of the Shropshire Star for August 9 has just found its way to me. I was sorry to hear that the phone box in Kinnerley Road, Knockin, near Oswestry, has gone, despite Mr Charles Roberts’ efforts to save it.
There are now so few rural phone boxes left that I would like to see a complete ban on further removals. These phones may be little-used just now but who knows what the future will bring? There might be a new health scare about mobile phones or there might be terrorist attacks on mobile phone masts.
Phone box removals are currently governed by the Universal Service Obligation (USO), which is the British version of the European Union’s Universal Service Directive (USD). These documents are very unsatisfactory and give little protection to phone boxes. As in Mr Roberts’ case, most people don’t know a phone box is under threat until it has gone.
Brexit should give us the opportunity to escape from the USO/USD and write a British charter for phone boxes with tougher rules on consultation and removals.The Campaign to Retain Payphones will be pressing for such a charter.
Rex Hora, Chairman, Campaign to Retain Payphones (CARP)