Iconic Crawley phone boxes among 400 under threat

red phone box campaign logo SUS-161111-101058001
red phone box campaign logo SUS-161111-101058001

Almost 400 public telephone boxes are currently under threat throughout Sussex - twelve of them in Crawley.

BT are proposing to remove 390 payphones - red kiosks and other types - and have written to local councils outlining their plans.

Crawley Borough Council has been asked for its views on removing 12 phone boxes in various neighbourhoods throughout the town.

The news follows the announcement last week of a campaign to save our red phone boxes launched by Sussex Heritage Trust.

Iconic red K6-type phone boxes - a distinctive feature of the British landscape for decades - have become increasingly under threat.

Some have already been removed and others are now facing removal.

BT says that many of them are no longer needed, but Sussex Heritage Trust is urging towns and villages throughout Sussex to ‘adopt’ a kiosk to ensure their survival.

The 12 phone boxes under threat in Crawley are at: Admiral Road, Bewbush, where 26 calls have been made in the past 12 months; Edrich Road, Broadfield (no calls in the past year); Wooding Grove, Broadfield (no calls); Gatwick Road, Northgate (4 calls); Kirdford Close, Ifield ((25 calls); near Tesco, Dobbins Place, Ifield (89 calls); near Gatwick Concorde Hotel, Lowfield Heath (2 calls); near Jade Chemist, Northgate Parade (86 calls); Woodfield Road, Northgate (22 calls); Peterhouse Parade, Pound Hill (8 calls); Southgate Parade (73 calls); junction of Horsham Road and Ifield Road, West Green (27 calls).Anyone who wants to comment on the phone boxes’ removal should contact the council by Friday December 9.

The council says community groups can apply to adopt a telephone kiosk for an alternative use.

Many old phone boxes have now been converted into defibrillator stations, information points and mini libraries. One is even being used to house a cash machine.

Currently, there are a total of 114 red phone boxes in West Sussex of which 42 are ‘listed’ as being of historic interest.

In East Sussex, there are currently 99 red kiosks, of which 33 are ‘listed’. All are still in use.

A spokesman for BT said: “BT is carrying out an ongoing review of payphones which we believe are no longer needed.

“We have written to the local authorities proposing the removal of around 390 payphones in Sussex, not just the red kiosks, all types.

“None of these payphones will be removed without the consent of the local authority.