Residents hold the line to win call box reprieve

The Oxford Times: Stephanie Jenkins and Peter McCarter occupy the phone box on Old High Street, Headington, after BT announced it was planning to remove it Buy this photo » Stephanie Jenkins and Peter McCarter occupy the phone box on Old High Street, Headington, after BT announced it was planning to remove it

HEADINGTON residents are celebrating after being allowed to keep their traditional red phone box.

BT had announced it would be removing the phone box in Old High Street, but by the time residents realised it was too late to appeal.

The company wanted to remove the box this week, but after protests from the community – and a late bid to have it listed – the firm said it can stay put.

For the time being it will continue as a working phone box, and local people will be invited to help decide its long-term future.

City councillors for Headington Ruth Wilkinson and David Rundle have paid the £1 needed to adopt the phone box for the community.

Ms Wilkinson said: “It is wonderful. I honestly didn’t think our attempts to save it were going to work, but when I spoke to BT’s head of payphones he said it would be fine. The decision about what happens to the phone box will be made by Headington Action because we are going to gift it to them.”

Patrick Coulter, of Headington Action, said it would consult the Friends of Old Headington and residents in the new year.

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