Mid Wales

Last call to save red telephone box in Tregaron area

The red telephone box Image copyright Dafydd Morgan

A bid to save a remote red telephone box in Ceredigion has been launched by campaigners.

The isolated phone booth can be found on the mountain between Tregaron and Llanwrtyd.

But BT has announced it could be decommissioned, giving people 90 days' notice to raise objections.

Spearheading the campaign, the Elenydd Wilderness Hostels Trust has called for it to be saved, describing it as "an important part of the landscape".

Its chair Marilyn Barrack said: "From a safety point of view it's used by walkers and cyclists, and it is a very bleak area."

But BT said the phone box had been deliberately damaged several times in the last few years, and appeared to "attract criminal and anti-social behaviour".

It said it had started a consultation with Ceredigion council and the community would have the opportunity to feed into this.

'A lifeline'

Ms Barrack said the phone box could provide shelter in bad weather.

"Mobile coverage is very sparse and there is not another phone box for about seven miles, and there are not many houses in the area.

"It could be a lifeline," she said.

Dafydd Morgan, 46, of Tregaron Walking Club, said it was a key landmark for walkers.

"From a distance it stands out prominently in whatever direction you see it from - it's the only landmark up there that can assist people on their travels," he said.

Tregaron councillor Catherine Hughes said she appreciated the concerns, but the phone had not worked for 18 months and was regularly vandalised, so it was difficult to know what to do for the best. She said the town council intended to discuss the matter at its next meeting.

In 2002 there were 92,000 BT payphones across the UK. Now about 57,500 remain, of which 9,400 are traditional red models.

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