40 Calderdale phone boxes facing the axe

IT could be the end of the line for nearly 40 public telephone boxes in Calderdale.

British Telecom says they have become serious loss makers as more and more people switch to mobiles.

The company also intends to reduce the number of twin boxes in Halifax town centre from eight to four. It wants to use them as advertising hoardings.

Some consultation has already taken place with town and parish councils resulting in objections to the loss of five payphones in Todmorden and rural parts of Wadsworth and Blackshaw.

Calderdale Council has now been asked whether it wants to challenge any of the closure proposals which will be followed by four weeks of public consultation.

Under the 2003 Communications Act, any objections must be fully justified and take into account the population, housing type, kiosk usage, mobile phone coverage and access to emergency services.

BT owns about 65,000 telephone boxes and its research show that at least a third of adults use them from time to time, but only 7 per cent use them regularly.

They are most popular with people on low incomes, those with mobiles but no home phone and people who have no phone at all.

The income that BT receives from phone boxes went down by half between 2000 and 2006 and six out of 10 are said to be losing money.

BT spokeswoman Amy Walker said: "The consultation for Calderdale district will run until September 7 when we will analyse the responses to our payphone proposals.

"Exactly how long this process will take will depend partly on the volume and type of responses received. It is of course essential that the analysis is thorough and that the responses are fully considered."

The council's regeneration and development panel will consider the proposals when it meets on Thursday.

Phone boxes under threatWade House Road, Shelf, outside library; School Lane, Illingworth, junction with Moor Bottom Lane; Bradshaw Lane, Halifax, opposite 59 and next to The Golden Fleece; next to Wainstalls Mill, Wainstalls; Manor Heath Road, Halifax, junction with Skircoat Green Road; Highroad Well Lane, Halifax, junction with Albert Road.

Bradford Old Road, Halifax, opposite Sportsman Inn; Heath Road, Halifax, junction with Skircoat Road; Stump Cross Inn, Stump Cross; junction of Skircoat Green Road and Skircoat Green, Halifax; Dewsbury Road, Elland, outside Rock Tavern; Elland Lane, Elland, next to Spring Gardens;

South Parade, Stainland.

Station Road, Holywell Green, front of no.10; Thomas Street, Elland, Junction with Huddersfield Road; Barkisland, opposite burial ground; Mill Bank, Sowerby Bridge; Soyland Town; Rochdale Road, Ripponden, near no. 185; front of 23 Towngate, Sowerby; next to 11 New Barton, Hubberton Green, Sowerby; Fore Lane, Sowerby, outside post office; The Pond, Triangle; Sparkhouse Lane, Sowerby Bridge, Junction with Harper Royd Lane; near 100 Wakefield Road, Sowerby Bridge; King Street, Hebden Bridge; Keighley Road. Pecket Well; Blackshaw Head; Jerusalem Farm, Booth; next to 292 Thornhills Lane, Clifton; Rochdale Road, Todmorden; Burnley Road, Todmorden; and opposite 330 Burnley Road, Todmorden.