A SOUTH Cumbrian woman is calling for the reinstatement of phone boxes in ‘essential’ areas with a number facing removal in the region in the coming months.

Elizabeth Wilson, who lives just outside Chapel Stile, Great Langdale, said phone boxes in areas with little or no signal could be ‘life-savers’, particularly in places where outdoor activities such as walking and climbing are popular.

She bemoaned the removal by BT of the phone box in Chapel Stile, as well as the removal of the phone equipment from the box that stands at nearby Elterwater.

Mrs Wilson said she had at times in the past used the Chapel Stile phone box during power cuts.

“One of them was to advise a member of the family about something serious that had happened,” she said.

“I have a mobile phone but I can’t get a signal with it.

“I’d like to see some [phone boxes] reinstated in what could be termed ‘essential’ places - ‘essential’ being if you’re in an area where there is no signal.”

She felt there was an ‘assumption’ that everyone had a phone signal or access to the internet.

A spokesman for BT said: “Most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from our public telephones have fallen by around 90 per cent in the past decade.

“We consider a number of factors before removing or, where necessary, consulting to remove, payphones - including whether others are available nearby and usage.

“The box at Chapel Stile was removed as part of our project to reduce the number of telephone boxes on private land.

“The box near the car park at Elterwater remains in place, although the phone equipment has been removed, as it was adopted in July 2019 through BT’s Adopt a Kiosk scheme.

“The scheme offers communities the chance to adopt traditional red heritage phone boxes for just £1.

“Adopted kiosks can be turned into a community asset, such as a defibrillator site or mini library.

“For more details visit bt.com/adopt.”

Phone boxes in south Cumbria that face removal over the coming months include one in Kendal which is used 60 times a month.