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Fears removing telephone box in Dymchurch will put lives at risk

There are concerns the removal of a public telephone box could put lives at risk on Romney Marsh.

BT announced they are considering taking away the red phone box in Marine Avenue, Dymchurch - which has not been used once in the last 12 months.

This phone box in Dymchurch could be removed. All picture: Ian McCabe
This phone box in Dymchurch could be removed. All picture: Ian McCabe

A sign was placed in the box, close to the Neptune pub, beach and the New Beach Holiday Park, asking residents for feedback on its removal.

But Ian McCabe, who lives on the Marsh, thinks this would be a mistake.

He said: "I feel that this phone box should not be removed due to its location opposite the beach and many people not carrying mobiles while walking or enjoying their time there.

"It is an integral part of beach safety.

"It may not have been used in recent months but could prove invaluable in saving lives at sea or on the beach bearing in mind that lives have been lost on this stretch of coast in the past and the recent influx of migrants.

BT are asking for feedback about the removal of the phone
BT are asking for feedback about the removal of the phone

"Many visitors to the area do not recognise or understand the dangers of the beach or its tides and there are many places along this stretch people can easily become cut off from the steps.

"Mobile phones do not always get a signal, this phone will always connect and 999 calls are free.

"BT should not be allowed to put profit before safety and lives."

But BT say a decision has not yet been made.

A spokesman said: “Most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from our public telephones have fallen by around 90 per cent in the past decade.

The phone hasn't been used once in the last 12 months
The phone hasn't been used once in the last 12 months

"We consider a number of factors before consulting on the removal of payphones including whether others are available nearby and usage.

"We will consult with Folkestone and Hythe District Council on the removal of the payphone providing the community with the chance to comment on our proposal.

"If the council tell us they want the payphone to remain, we will keep it.

"As part of the consultation, we are also offering communities the chance to adopt phone boxes for just £1 through our Adopt a Kiosk scheme.

"Adopted kiosks could house heart defibrillators. For more details visit bt.com/adopt"

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