Payphone needed for seafront emergencies

PROTESTS are today being considered by British Telecom over proposals to remove a seafront payphone amid fears it could leave people at risk.There are concerns that the box in Manor Terrace, Felixstowe, could be needed in an emergency if someone needed rescuing at sea.

PROTESTS are today being considered by British Telecom over proposals to remove a seafront payphone amid fears it could leave people at risk.

There are concerns that the box in Manor Terrace, Felixstowe, could be needed in an emergency if someone needed rescuing at sea.

Town councillors fear if there was no phone vital minutes could be lost in summoning the coastguard.

Today BT said it would consider the council's objection and have further discussions over whether the phone box should be kept.


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Town plans committee chairman Andy Smith said: "If someone has observed a sea safety issue and needs to report it quickly, we feel it is reasonable next to the sea to expect to find a phone."

He hoped BT would find a way to keep the phone. And he called for another threatened phone in Maidstone Road to be saved.

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The phone is used by children at the schools in the street and by people attending the adult centre for those with learning difficulties.

Committee members were also concerned that the absence of a phone box would encourage youngsters to use mobiles when there were still health concerns.

BT told the town council it was proposing to remove six payphones because they were losing money.

The other four were Grange Road-Mill Lane, Waveney Road, Constable Road, and Parker Avenue.

BT spokeswoman Emma Littlejohn said a review of payphones was being carried out nationwide.

She said: "It is a consultative document and any issues which arise will be taken on board.

"The future of those particular payphones where comments have been received will be put on hold until we have had further discussions about the concerns which are raised.

"The costs of maintaining payphones is high and people expect that if they see one and want to use it should be working and so it is vital that it is, which means we are constantly having to look at and look after them."

n Are pay phones still needed in the mobile phone age? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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