The Quickie

A bite-sized look at this week's news…

Adopt a red phone box

Posted by allie1985 on November 5, 2008

November 2 2008 was the cut off date to ‘adopt a red phone box’.pb060105

BT has decided to scrap more than a third of our countries iconic red phone boxes because they are no longer financially profitable. However they agreed to sell off 500 of them to local authorities in an effort to preserve a part of our countries heritage.

For the small fee of £1 a community can buy a phone box and it is theirs forever.

Chet Patel, director of BT Payphones, said “Local people have spoken and BT has listened to their views by coming up with the adopt a payphone schemes”

The first place to ‘adopt’ a phone box was Lighthorne, a small hamlet 90mile north west of London.

“Our red telephone box is a focal point for our village and is part of its overall identity and heritage. We’re pleased that BT devised this scheme allowing communities to preserve their much loved red kiosks” said Josette Tait, chairman of Lighthorne Parish Council.

 Why is BT getting rid of the phone booths?

According to BT, not enough people are using phone booths and over half were no longer turning a profit.

Gemma Thomas a BT spokeswoman said “Payphone usage has declined dramatically since the advent of the mobile phone”

According to the Telegraph newspaper, the red kiosks were said to be among the booths that were losing money. They say it costs around £1000 annually to maintain a red box and people are just not using them. Josette Tait admitted that to her recollection the Lighthorne box had not been used for about a year.

Adopt or sponsor?

As well as adopting a phone booth, BT has also introduced a sponsoring scheme. To sponsor a phone booth cost £500 per annum, but this keeps the phone booth as a phone booth. When the booths are adopted BT remove all the equipment inside, just leaving the red shell.

What will become of the empty phone booths?

Many town councils are planning to turn the booths into notice boards where residents can pin up town information, although others are considering using them as green houses and miniature art galleries.

 In Kingston upon Thames red phone booths have been turned into a piece or art by having them leaning up against each other in a domino effect.

So far around 400 of the Phone booths have been either sponsored or adopted. BT has said it want to errantly get rid of another 400, and are in negotiations as to what to do with another 4,000.

 Backup piece-What makes Britain British?

 

Alexandra Murphy

(alexandra.murphy@my.westminster.ac.uk)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: