Highlands & Islands

UK's highest phone box in the Cairngorms is saved

phone box cairngorm
Image caption The red phone box is a familiar site in the Cairngorms

The highest phone box in the UK has been saved from removal after a campaign to keep it.

It sits 2,000ft up at the base of the ski-slope in the Cairngorm mountains.

Almost a third of public payphones in Scotland have been earmarked for removal because fewer people are using them.

BT said the traditional red phone box had been removed from its consultation process after concerns from the local community.

Bill Lobban, vice convenor of Highland Council, said: "This is a very sensible decision by BT and follows pressure from the local community.

"The box has been extensively used in the past and is essential for emergency use.

"People claim when they come off of the hill that they have mobile phone service, but if they can't get a signal, it's important they have another option."

Image caption The red phone box lives to call another day

A spokesman for BT told the BBC: "We listen carefully to any community concerns and have already, for example, removed from the consultation the payphone at the ski-slope in the Cairngorms.

"Where concerns are raised to us through the local planning authority, we will not remove the payphone."

BT is consulting on plans to remove about 1,500 phone boxes Scotland-wide.

The firm said usage had declined by more than 90% over the last decade as the popularity of mobile phones surged.

Of about 4,800 payphones in Scotland, fewer than five calls were made from 1,280 of them over the past year.

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