THEY are generally considered to be a thing of the distant past but a company is looking to bring its 21st century update to the telephone kiosk to Brighton.

Maidenhead-based Euro Payphone has applied for planning consent to install at least eight new phone kiosks in Brighton city centre.

Pedestrian advocate Stephen Young said cluttering up already very busy pavements with more obstacles felt like a backward step in making the city accessible to all.

The company said it had carefully considered the siting and appearance of the kiosks.

In planning application documents, the firm said it recognised the traditional public telephone kiosk required modernisation to “reflect the needs of present-day society”.

The firm said the old kiosks meant a range of difficulties including antisocial behaviour and non-

compliance with disability regulations.

But the new kiosk, which will be around 1.3 metres wide, will have an open side allowing full visibility into the kiosk for passers-by, making it less appealing to those seeking to use it for

antisocial behaviour.

The company’s website claims Euro Payphone allows brands to communicate their messages to audiences through exclusive media panels for adverts offering “prime media locations for the arts, culture, music and entertainment” at rates of £120 a week.

The kiosks can already be found in Edinburgh and Belfast.

The application comes at a time when businesses in Brighton and Hove are looking to remove existing telephone kiosks from outside their stores.

Bosses at Cronin’s Cabin in South Street, Portslade, want the booth removed from outside their entrance. They say the phone has not been used in the five months since the shop opened.

Mr Young said: “I have spent a lot of my life trying to declutter the pavements, to make them wider and more accessible, so this seems like a backwards step.

“We want as few obstructions as possible.

“It’s ironic as I spent my previous working life in the Telecoms industry where BT were trying to remove the ones they were obliged to provide so I find it very surprising if a company believes there is a lot of unsupplied demand for phone kiosks on the streets.

“It makes you wonder what their true business model is.

“All those areas already have pretty high footfall, especially North Street, so putting up more obstructions is not really to be recommended.”

A decision on the applications is expected at the start of next month.


Proposed pavement locations for new telephone kiosks:

Outside 60 Castle Square

Outside 25 East Street

Outside The Waterfront Hotel Kings Road

Outside 47/48 North Street North Street

Opposite 82 North Street

Outside 186 Western Road

Outside 17 Jubilee Street

Outside 1 Church Street