Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 13:16 UK

Future for 72 phone boxes secured

telephone box
The council said traditional red boxes added character to the area

The future of payphones in west Dorset look safe after BT missed a deadline to appeal against a decision to keep them.

A campaign to keep the 72 telephone boxes began earlier this year led by West Dorset District Council.

The authority voted to object the plan and has been told by telecommunications watchdog Ofcom that BT has not appealed within the time limit.

The council argued the area had a poor mobile phone signal and relied heavily on public payphones.

It also said that many of the payphones earmarked for removal were the traditional red phone boxes and contributed to the historic character of villages.

Robert Gould, West Dorset District Council leader, said: "This proposal was met by universal opposition from local communities.

"West Dorset is gradually losing the facilities such as doctor's surgeries, shops, post offices and pubs that form the backbone of village life.

"Removing payphones would be a significant blow to many towns and villages."

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