Villagers in Kilmuir see red over phone box removal

Phone box at Kilmuir The red phone box at Kilmuir

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Villagers parked their cars around a red telephone box in an effort to stop it from being removed.

Viola Lawler, a resident of Kilmuir on the Black Isle, near Inverness, alerted locals on Tuesday night when a lorry and crane arrived to take the box away.

Ms Lawler said the phone box was an iconic feature of the small village.

BT said it had not received any objections to its removal, but was happy to talk to residents about how they could adopt the box.

Ms Lawler told BBC Radio Scotland: "On Tuesday evening I happened by chance to meet the lorry with the crane looking for the phone box.

"I said to the driver that we didn't want the phone box to go and he went away for the evening."

Start Quote

No adoption request was ever received for this particular box so we sanctioned its removal”

End Quote BT statement

Ms Lawler said it quickly became known in Kilmuir that the driver would be returning the following morning, so a number of residents parked their cars "in strategic places" to protect the box.

In a statement, BT said no phone calls had been made from the box for three years.

The company said: "We recognise that red boxes are British design icons and people love them, and that's exactly why we set up this scheme.

"But no adoption request was ever received for this particular box so we sanctioned its removal.

"We also posted a notice in the payphone asking people to get in touch with the council if they had any objections to its removal but none were received within the 90-day consultation period.

"Now that the residents of Kilmuir have made their feelings clear, we are happy to discuss adoption with them and we have spoken to both Highland Council and their local councillor this morning."

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