Advertisement
News

Ringing out: BT to axe 20,000 unused phone boxes by 2022

The famous yet obsolete telephone box continues to litter streets across Britain. Now, BT has announced, it’s time for the derelict boxes to go.

A familiar feature on Britain’s streets, the iconic telephone box is nearing the end of the line.

Once a lifeline to the wider world for many, a way to avoid a row if you were running late for your tea, today they lie dormant, sad and sometimes a bit smelly, housing only empty chip wrappers and the occasional fly-poster.

This week, BT hung up on 20,000 phone boxes across the country after usage plummeted by 90% in the past decade. 33,000 calls a day are still made from phone boxes. But a third are only used on average once a month, with many others abandoned completely.

With the number of calls dropping 20% each year and the cost of maintenance rising to £6m it seems the landmark is running out of spare change to keep the calls going.

At their peak, there were 92,000 payphones in the UK, but with other countries ditching the dated method of communication (Finland, for example, chucked all of their phone booths in 2007), the British telecoms giant has followed suit.

While the payphone is fazed out, over 2,000 traditional red cast iron boxes will survive the cull – as they are as categorised as Grade II listed buildings. And if you’ve got a spare few quid, you could even pick up one of your own.

Advertisement
Advertisement

BT’s Adopt-A-Kiosk scheme gives communities the chance to retain their iconic red kiosk, developing it into whatever they please. Since the campaign launched, 4,000 red boxes across the UK have been returned to their former glory, housing everything from a life-saving defibrillator to a community library.

Fancy picking up one of your own?Take a look at how your community can band together to save the red icon.

Advertisement

Every copy counts this Winter

Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Winter. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Winter.

Recommended for you

Read All
Brighton has its first night shelter specifically for LGBTQ+ people
LGBTQ+

Brighton has its first night shelter specifically for LGBTQ+ people

Betting shops are taking over this town. But the locals are fighting back
Gambling

Betting shops are taking over this town. But the locals are fighting back

All the cost of living help available from the government, energy companies, councils and charities
Cost of living crisis

All the cost of living help available from the government, energy companies, councils and charities

What to do if you have damp and mould in your home
Housing advice

What to do if you have damp and mould in your home

Most Popular

Read All
Lauren Layfield: 'Normal men, innocent men' and me
1.

Lauren Layfield: 'Normal men, innocent men' and me

Here's when people will get the next cost of living payment in 2023
2.

Here's when people will get the next cost of living payment in 2023

Where to find grants for furniture and carpets in 2023
3.

Where to find grants for furniture and carpets in 2023

Scotland aims to cut car use by creating '20-minute neighbourhoods' in net zero push
4.

Scotland aims to cut car use by creating '20-minute neighbourhoods' in net zero push