Monday 6 January 2020 5:49 pm

Westminster council proposes to scrap 'depressing' phone boxes

Up to 1,000 phone boxes may be removed throughout the borough of Westminster.

The Westminster City Council has proposed scrapping the vast majority of the near 1,000 phone boxes that are in the borough, arguing they are not used.

Read more: Political fallout threatens the future of Westminster Holocaust memorial

The council is proposing a law that any phone box must be removed by telecoms companies if it is used less than 50 times a month.

However, this will not include the iconic red phone boxes often featured in tourist shots, and will instead only pertain to kiosks installed in the 1980s and 90s.

There are an estimated 100 of the red phone boxes and 900 of the more recent additions.

Westminster City Council deputy leader Richard Beddoe said many of the boxes were “derelict and disued” and were a “depressing sight”.

Read more: Rail group slams TfL admission that Crossrail won’t be open until late 2021

“Most people haven’t used a phone box for twenty years and unfortunately, all too often these are left to fall into disrepair and just end up as hubs for anti-social behaviour or x-rated display boards for private escort services and drug dealers,” he said.

“By drastically reducing the overall number of phone boxes we hope that telecoms firms will take more responsibility those that remain – particularly, the much loved, listed, red phone box.”