TELECOMS giant BT is proposing to remove 40 public phone boxes across the Ribble Valley Borough.

The payphones under threat include several in Slaidburn, Bolton by Bowland, Langho, Whalley, Ribchester and Longridge.

Villages including Sawley, Grindleton, Rimington, Mellor, Hurst Green, Sabden, Read, Simonstone and Barrow are also affected.

Ribble Valley Borough Council is now seeking residents’ views on the proposals before responding to the proposed closures.

BT wants to axe payphones where usage has declined by 90 per cent or more, but often communities claim they offer a vital emergency lifeline and should remain.

Alison Brown, chairman of the Ribble Valley planning committee, said: “The council is coordinating the community response to the proposed closures and will be putting its views to BT in due course. The mobile phone reception in Ribble Valley is patchy and there are numerous wireless ‘not spots’ in the borough, so some phone boxes provide a vital service."

More details are available on the RVBC website.

People should contact Ribble Valley Borough Council’s regeneration team on 01200 425111 by 5pm on Friday November 8.