Losing our payphones in Lightwater

Local councils and councillors in Surrey Heath, and probably most of the South East of England are always pressing the case with government that with housing development must come associated infrastructure improvements.

It often appears that councillors are anti-housing development. Not the case. Development often brings new opportunities, freshness, and vitality. But, when there’s no additional investment in public transport, flood defence, roads, schools and such, it’s natural for communities to be against development.

So, losing existing infrastructure is doubly annoying.

BT recently informed Surrey Heath Borough Council of its desire to remove 15 payphones from the borough, of which three are in Lightwater. See pictured list.

The three in Lightwater are:

  • Lightwater village centre, next to the pedestrian crossing
  • Guildford Road at junction with The Avenue
  • Macdonald Road at junction with Curley Hill Road

It strikes me that the one in the centre of Lightwater is an essential part of the village infrastructure, along with post pillar boxes and the like.

So NO, I do not think we should loose all three. I can see that the payphone in Macdonald Road could be redundant through lack of use, and perhaps the one by The Avenue being not too far from the one in the village centre, could make it redundant also.

However, I consider the village centre payphone to be part of our essential infrastructure I will argue vigourously that it should be retained. OFCOM describes here what you can do to stop its removal.

It’s not difficult think of reasons for it to be retained, some that come to my mind are:

  • telephone infrastructure resilience
  • choice, for those not wanting to be a mobile phone use
  • confidentiality

I’m sure there are many more reasons.

I don’t want to be a ‘stick in the mud’, or a resister to change. It’s just that I view a public payphone in the centre of Lightwater as something worth keeping.

Email your support to me at: tim.dodds@surreyheath.gov.uk, before 4th July please. Consultation closes on July 7th.

UPDATE: Sorry, misread the date, closing date for consultation is 2nd July 2008, and so messages of support are urgently required.

One thought on “Losing our payphones in Lightwater

  1. Pingback: Hard work campaigning « Lightwater

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