Stephen Gethins urges towns and villages to adopt traditional red public payphones for £1
North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins has urged residents of 24 towns and villages across North East Fife to take the opportunity of adopting their traditional red phone boxes.
BT has begun a 90-day consultation on the removal of 40 phone boxes across the Kingdom. The process includes an opportunity for local communities to adopt their traditional red phone box for £1 and turn them into a local asset.
BT said use of payphones has declined by 90 per cent in the last decade and the need to provide payphones for emergency use has also diminished as a result of better mobile network coverage which allows emergency calls even if the person has no credit or coverage from their own.
Stephen Gethins MP said: “I know some communities will wish to keep their phone box as a working phone and it is really important that BT considers this. For some areas, particularly rural locations, access to a payphone, especially for emergencies, will be reassuring. However, there are a number of phone boxes which BT said are not being used and could be turned into community assets.
“I know that villagers in Letham, which adopted its phone box four years ago, use it to house the community defibrillator, while others have used them for book swaps and art galleries. I have now written to every community council in North East Fife affected to make them aware of the consultation and would ask anyone with concerns about the potential loss of their local phone box, to get in touch.”