Published on Monday, 9th March 2015

One thing that has been particularly annoying me of late is the proliferation of telephone boxes in and around Commercial Road. On a recent walk from the station to McDonalds I counted 23. There are probably more phone boxes now than there have ever been and this in spite of the rise of mobile phones which has largely made them obsolete; the reason is advertising money.


Phone boxes can be installed without planning or highways permission under the Telecommunications Act. Once in place, operators can cover them with adverts. In effect then phone boxes are a way of putting up advertising without permission and without paying for the privilege.


I have got the council planning department looking into whether there is scope for challenging the legality of at least some of the boxes. It is not clear cut though and there is a sizeable body of case law that restricts what can and cannot be done. This is going to take some time to resolve.

Tags: City Centre, Phone Boxes