Council doesn’t want BT to hang up on Tulnacross phone box.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Council doesn’t want BT to hang up on Tulnacross phone box. thumbnail Tulnacross phone box, which Mid-Ulster Council wants to see restored and retained.

MID-ULSTER District Council is to write to BT to request that the phonebox on the Tulnacross Road is maintained on public safety grounds.

Although last used to make a phonecall almost seven years ago - on 2nd March, 2011 - councillors feel that its rural setting neccessitates its existence in case of emergency.

At the monthly meeting of Mid-Ulster District Council, councillors were informed that the Planning Commitee had decided to issue a temporary protection notice. It was also confirmed that the Council does have the power to object to the removal of a public payphone.

Speaking on behalf of Deputy Chair, Mark Glasgow who missed the meeting, his UUP colleague Trevor Wilson said: "Mark has asked for the Council to veto the removal of this telephone kiosk.

"He has been in contact with residents along this road and in light of recent reports of rural crime they have stated having the phonebox and access to emergency services from it gives them a feeling of safety.

If it is removed their nearest phone box is 10 miles away.

While happy to see the kiosk remain, Sinn Fein's Sean Clarke also expressed a desire to see maintenance around the kiosk improve .

"It is inaccessible at the minute, people near wouldn't even know it is working. However, it is important, that phone box is nine miles from Draperstown and 17 miles from Omagh.

"It is a rural area with no mobile signal and it is better looking at it than looking for it."

While not overly familiar with the area, the DUP's Clement Cuthbertson noted that many of the area's kiosk now do not accept change only cards and that if the phone cannot be saved it would be his preference that the kiosk is maintained regardless.

It is understood that although BT have disconnected the line, it is still possible to make 999 calls. and Sinn Fein's Ronan McGinley warned that removing kiosks and phone lines, could create a situation similar to vinyl records, where people disposed of them before coming back in fashion.

The Council agreed to write to BT to protest the removal of the kiosk with the SDLP's Martin Kearney stating: "That kiosk needs to be maintained for community and road safety."


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