It looks like the beginning of the end for Tyneside’s phone boxes.
For decades, they’ve been a fixture on our streets.
But BT has lodged a string of applications to have them removed from the region for good.
“Most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from our public telephones have fallen by around 90% in the past decade,” said a BT spokesperson.
The firm announced in 2019 it planned to remove almost 300 rarely-used North East boxes.
A consultation was carried out to help decide which phones would face the chop.
Now, BT has lodged seven planning applications to remove some of the 23 it planned to lose in North Tyneside.
The plans, submitted to North Tyneside Council last week, are still under consultation. They are thought to be the first the council has received.
But BT said it had already held its own consultation over which boxes it should call time on.
“We consider a number of factors before consulting on the removal of payphones, including whether others are available nearby and usage,” added a spokesperson.
“The need to provide payphones for use in emergency situations is also diminishing all the time, with at least 98% of the UK having either 3G or 4G coverage.
“This is important because as long as there is network coverage, it’s now possible to call the emergency services, even when there is no credit or no coverage from your own mobile provider.”