A call has been made for BT to maintain all its famous red phone boxes after the organisation did a U-turn on a plan to scrap one at Bendooragh.
BT wrote to Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council to say that as the Bann Road box was damaged and barely used they were considering removing it.
However, after councillors urged BT to keep the Bendooragh box, the organisation has now reversed their plans, ‘Ballymena Daily’ can reveal.
BT had written to the council in April saying the nearest alternative phone box was at Culcrow Park, Aghadowey.
Councillor Roisin Loftus (SDLP), seconded by Councillor Sandra Hunter (Ulster Unionist), proposed that the Council supported retaining all red telephone boxes.
Alderman Sharon McKillop (TUV) stated she considered that Council’s position
should be to retain red telephone boxes, saying they were landmarks and
should be restored.
Alderman Sam Cole (DUP) said red telephone boxes should be kept and maintained as they look well and were antique.
The Council agreed to oppose the removal of the Bendooragh box and to support the retention of all red telephone boxes.
A spokesperson for BT has now told ‘Ballymena Daily’: “We are aware that Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council has raised an objection to BT’s proposal to remove the public payphone service from this location.
“We can confirm that we have no plans to appeal against the objection and that the box will stay in place for the foreseeable future.
“Local councils and community groups who wish to preserve a red telephone box for future generations can apply to adopt them via this link: www.bt.com/adopt.
“BT will be responsible for maintaining the phone box and we will fit a replacement door and paint it later this summer.
“Tests, which we have carried out remotely, show that the phone is working.
“If local residents want to report the box out of order they should call 0800 661610. This number is advertised inside the box.”
To date, six red telephone boxes have been ‘adopted’ in Northern Ireland.