Is it call over for red phone boxes? BT is to axe a quarter of the iconic kiosks from Britain’s streets
- BT has 21,000 working payphones across the UK with 3,600 the iconic red boxes
- Around a quarter of BT’s payphones are likely to be removed over the next year
- Red phone boxes were once staple of British streets and remain an icon of the UK
Thousands of the country’s remaining red telephone boxes are to disappear from our streets as demand continues to fall in the age of the mobile.
Around a quarter of BT’s payphones are likely to be removed over the next year, chairman Adam Crozier told the company’s annual general meeting yesterday.
It follows action by regulator Ofcom last month to change the rules in order to protect kiosks in areas with a poor mobile phone signal, or where they are used frequently to report accidents or call helplines.
BT has 21,000 working payphones across the UK, 3,600 of which are the iconic red boxes.
It runs a scheme for communities to adopt phone boxes for as little as £1 and change their use, such as into miniature libraries and art galleries.
A BT spokesman said the firm was ‘reviewing’ its payphones and was ‘looking at removing those which aren’t used’.
Thousands of the country’s remaining red telephone boxes are to disappear from our streets as demand continues to fall in the age of the mobile (file photo)
Other payphones in operation include newer glass kiosk designs as well as phones located in shopping centres and train stations.
Red phone boxes were once a staple of streets across Britain and remain an icon of the UK and serve as a key photo opportunity for tourists.
But their existence has been under threat due to the meteoric rise of mobile phones, which has caused demand for payphones to collapse in all but the most remote areas.
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