Plan Lets Brits 'Adopt' Endangered Red Phone Booths

A British politician says he has won a victory for an endangered icon — the red telephone booth.

Thousands of the kiosks have been removed in recent years as mobile telephones have cut into payphone use.

Conservative Party lawmaker Alan Duncan says phone company BT PLC has agreed to let communities adopt the booths — minus their telephones — to help preserve local heritage. Local authorities can keep the phones as well if they pay part of the maintenance costs.

BT announced plans in April to remove 9,000 phone booths, including many of the red models designed by Giles Gilbert Scott.

Duncan said Thursday that the "adopt-a-kiosk" plan would help ensure "that red phone boxes do not disappear into the great gray blur of the modern British streetscape."