ICONIC red telephone boxes are up for grabs in Herefordshire as Britain gears up to mark 100 years since they first appeared on our streets.

Five phone boxes in Herefordshireare currently available for communities to adopt for just £1, with 7,200 already adopted across the UK.

Next year will mark 100 years since the original K2 red kiosk was designed by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, whose creation for a competition in 1924 became the first incarnation of the famous red phone box.

In recent years, however, with 98 per cent of the adult population now using a mobile phone, and significant improvements to mobile coverage, there has been a huge decline in the usage of payphones across the UK.

There are now around 20,000 remaining working payphones across the UK, around 3,000 of which are in traditional red kiosks. The number of phone boxes peaked in the 1990s at around 100,000.


BT is now urging communities to continue to take advantage of its kiosk adoption scheme to help transform its underused red phone boxes into other purposes.

The kiosks can be adopted by registered charities, community councils and local authorities.

Redundant phone boxes have been adopted and turned into a range of facilities over the years, from defibrillator units and libraries, to mini art galleries and local museums.

BT is continuing to review its remaining estate of payphones, removing those that are no longer being used, in line with rules set out by Ofcom. Ofcom revised its guidance last year on payphone removals, reflecting improvements made in mobile coverage and the number of calls made from individual payphones each year.

Michael Smy, head of Street at BT, said: “With the vast majority of people now using mobile phones, and significant improvements to mobile coverage across the UK, we’ve continued to see a big drop in the number of calls made from payphones.

“That’s why we’re continuing to review our payphones estate, making sure we're prioritising the removal of those not being used, in line with Ofcom’s latest guidance.

“With the iconic red kiosk about to turn 100, it's a great opportunity to remind communities that would still like to retain their local kiosk to take it on for just £1 through our Adopt a Kiosk scheme. We’ve already seen some great kiosk conversions across the UK that have become valuable community assets.”

For further information on how to apply to adopt a kiosk, go to www.bt.com/adopt where application forms and information can be found.