The ArgusRed phone boxes removed from Brighton and Hove streets (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

Red phone boxes removed from Brighton and Hove streets

The Argus: Picture by Carol Homewood of a phone box being removed from Lewes Road Picture by Carol Homewood of a phone box being removed from Lewes Road

They have survived wars, floods, hurricanes and the abuse of drunk people on nights out.

But classic red phone boxes are finally falling victim to the changing times, with BT planning to remove thousands of them from Britain’s streets over the next year.

The number of calls made from phone boxes has fallen by more than 80% in the last five years as the rise of mobile phones renders the modest red box – once an essential communication tool – obsolete.

In the last few weeks in Brighton and Hove phone boxes have been removed from Grand Avenue, while another has been lost at Lewes Road, with others to be removed in the coming months.

The kiosks are so fondly regarded that a number of them appear on Brighton and Hove Council’s list of historic buildings, including one in Dyke Road, and another in Bloomsbury Place.

BT has put a price tag of £1,950 for individuals looking to get hold of their own big red box while council's and communities can get hold of one for just £1 through BT's Adopt a Kiosk scheme.

In January Brighton and Hove City Council received planning applications to turn a number of the boxes into cafe kiosks at the entrance to Brighton’s Palace Pier and another pair next to the Pavilion gardens in New Road.

In a statement submitted with the plans, Kensington Gardens-based company Thinking Outside The Box said: “The iconic K6 red phone boxes are both a great piece of engineering and architecture.

“Our aim is to redefine their usage to suit the modern day need and requirements without compromising their external appearance on the street scene.”

Another pair of phone boxes in New Road, which were damaged and almost uprooted during the Great Storm in 1987, have also been granted planning permission to be turned into cafe kiosks in September last year.

Katherine Ainley, general manager for BT Payphones, said the company’s Adopt a Kiosk scheme had proven a great chance for individuals and communities to preserve a piece of the country’s history.

She said: “The most fantastic thing about the Adopt a Kiosk scheme has been how communities across the country have become involved.

“Red phone boxes have become a focal point for all sorts of activities of real value to the local community.

“It’s so gratifying to see our old rarely used boxes given a new lease of life.”

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:52am Wed 19 Mar 14

Morpheus says...

It is a pity that the council is installing tourist direction signs all over the place and making to pavements difficult for anybody with disabilities. They should have realised that mobile phones have made these signs redundant. But they prefer to waste our money.
It is a pity that the council is installing tourist direction signs all over the place and making to pavements difficult for anybody with disabilities. They should have realised that mobile phones have made these signs redundant. But they prefer to waste our money. Morpheus
  • Score: 17

1:36pm Wed 19 Mar 14

hubby says...

Turn the phone boxes into toilets.That's what they were mostly used for anyway.
Turn the phone boxes into toilets.That's what they were mostly used for anyway. hubby
  • Score: 8

10:02pm Wed 19 Mar 14

roystony says...

Fuc* off kitcat. Stop changing everything.
Fuc* off kitcat. Stop changing everything. roystony
  • Score: 3

9:46am Fri 21 Mar 14

mustaphaLeeko says...

roystony wrote:
Fuc* off kitcat. Stop changing everything.
Totally agree with you there, just have to make sure you do what the Greens do, and go around and make sure everyone you know gets off their backsides to go and vote to get these tw*ts out of Brighton!

I hate to see what could and should be one of the best towns for visitors on the South coast, slowly turning into a s-hole, time for the numpty council to get on and install a FREE park & ride on the outskirts of Brighton, forget the ridiculous parking fees (Brighton was in the top 10 highest number of parking fines issued, and the highest number outside London) in 2011-12!

Roll on May 2015, no doubt greengirl, HJarrs, and all the other green slime will troll now!
[quote][p][bold]roystony[/bold] wrote: Fuc* off kitcat. Stop changing everything.[/p][/quote]Totally agree with you there, just have to make sure you do what the Greens do, and go around and make sure everyone you know gets off their backsides to go and vote to get these tw*ts out of Brighton! I hate to see what could and should be one of the best towns for visitors on the South coast, slowly turning into a s-hole, time for the numpty council to get on and install a FREE park & ride on the outskirts of Brighton, forget the ridiculous parking fees (Brighton was in the top 10 highest number of parking fines issued, and the highest number outside London) in 2011-12! Roll on May 2015, no doubt greengirl, HJarrs, and all the other green slime will troll now! mustaphaLeeko
  • Score: 1

2:59am Tue 25 Mar 14

ken standing says...

These are historic pieces of street architecture and some should be retained, even in working order in prominent places. Mobile phones sometimes don't function for various reasons ..... and, let's face it, as distinctly British items for tourists to appreciate. They are anyway of general design interest, like old post boxes. British Telecom ought to be able to contribute to preserving our heritage a little bit.
These are historic pieces of street architecture and some should be retained, even in working order in prominent places. Mobile phones sometimes don't function for various reasons ..... and, let's face it, as distinctly British items for tourists to appreciate. They are anyway of general design interest, like old post boxes. British Telecom ought to be able to contribute to preserving our heritage a little bit. ken standing
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree