Fancy a shiny red phone box? Yours for just £1
Time is running out for communities to adopt their local phone boxes.
BT is set to scrap half of the UK’s remaining phone boxes following a fall in usage – including dozens of the iconic red landmarks.
Around 20,000 phone boxes are set to be removed over the next five years following a 90 per cent decline in use over the last decade. It was announced ast year that more than 150 phone boxes in the Black Country and Staffordshire faced being scrapped.
Some of these have already been adopted.
For a nominal fee of £1, BT will remove the phone and hand the kiosk over to the local community.
Some of those already adopted now house defibrillators following a campaign from the Community Heartbeat Trust.
Other obsolete boxes are being used as libraries or to showcase artwork.
Although 33,000 calls a day are still made from phone boxes, a third are only used once a month, and some are never used at all.
Spiralling maintenance costs have led to plans to scrap the iconic boxes but BT is giving local authorities the chance to save them.
Across the country, 8,000 are up for adoption – and in Shropshire and Staffordshire there are 60 red phone boxes under adoption offers.
Any council, charity or community group can request to adopt a phone box.
Back in February, the Express & Star reported that 11 have been adopted in the Stafford borough, two in Cannock, one in Sandwell and four in South Staffordshire. Twenty six have been adopted in Shropshire, seven in Telford and Wrekin and 55 in Powys.
Phone boxes set to be saved include two in Trysull – one in Seisdon Road and another in Feiashill Road – and one in Crockington Lane, Seisdon which the parish council have asked to adopt.
Nearby, in Lower Penn, the parish council is to adopt the phone box at the junction of Dene Road and Springhill Road.
In Staffordshire, in Gnosall, the village’s Best Kept Village group have requested to adopt the phone in Audmore Road. And in Horton, on the Bridgnorth Road between Shifnal and Bridgnorth, the phone box next to The Hundred House is to be adopted.
Pub chef Stuart Phillips welcomed the move for the box, which sits next to a red post box.
He said: “I think it is an architectural feature. The phone box may not be used anymore, but that does not mean it needs to be taken away.”
Those that made a request to adopt a phone box are still waiting to discover if they have been successful. The first phone box was designed by Somerville & Company in 1920. It was called the K1. New models followed in 1924 and 1927 before the Post Office designed its own, the K4 in 1927. Four more designs followed – the K6 in 1935 is arguably the most well-known.
A spokesman for BT said it had received no new requests for adoption since February.