Doomed red phone boxes to be "adopted" by local councils

Adopt a phone box today!
Adopt a phone box today!

After deciding to start removing the good old red telephone box from Britain's highstreets in response to falling popularity of payphones, BT has rethoughtits strategies after an outcry from local communities who argued that the boxes give Britain's streets character.

Thus, the telecommunications giant has come up with two solutions to save our endangered auburn allies – the boxes can either be sponsored, or adopted outright.

Sponsor-a-Kiosk involves charging councils an annual £500 fee to run and maintain a phone box, preserving it as a fully functioning telephone. This scheme also applies to any and all BT boxes too, not just the classic red one.

Adopt-a-Kiosk, while cheaper, is also a little more sinister. For just £1, the council can buy the box, but BT will remove the telephone, effectively neutering the once-proud telecommunications device and leaving little more than a lifeless relic of the pre-mobile era. Aww.


BT has agreed not to remove any of Britain's 12 thousand-odd red boxes until October 1, which is the deadline for local councils to submit their applications for sponsorship or adoption.

Shadow Secretary for Business Alan Duncan, who wrote to BT in June suggesting the scheme, told the Telegraph: "I'm delighted that BT has agreed to what was always a perfectly simple proposal to ensure that red phone boxes do not disappear into the great grey blur of modern British streetscape."