They’ve been a familiar landmark for decades - but in the age of the mobile phone their days are undoubtedly numbered.
Now no fewer than 35 little used and unprofitable public pay phones, including 25 of the iconic red phone boxes, are set to be decommissioned.
Notices were put up in the kiosks on March 24 stating that they would be taken out of use and removed.
Those phone boxes at risk had included the one at Cregneash which, as painted green, featured in the film Waking Ned.
Following a campaign to save it in 2013-14, it was supposed to have been kept on as a working pay phone for the next 10 years.
Now Conister Bank has stepped in to save it for a second time.
Among others set to be removed are the ones at Bradda Road in Port Erin, Station Road in Colby, The Crofts in Castletown, the bottom of Bray Hill in Douglas and the Memorial Gardens in Ramsey.
A Manx Telecom spokesman said: ’We are aware that iconic red telephone boxes are loved by many and considered a part of the traditional local environment.
’Unfortunately, in an increasingly digital and mobile age, some of these phone kiosks simply become uneconomic to maintain and we have identified 35 such kiosks around the island which are currently no longer viable for us to operate.
’The notices that have been placed in these kiosks are the first step in a process to alert the public that a public phone is likely to be removed due to exceptional low usage.
She added that while there are plans to remove the phone equipment, the boxes themselves could remain in place.
’Where there is demand for either the phone kiosk to be kept as a working phone or to be adapted for any other community use, we will work with local authorities, organisations and individuals to find a suitable solution,’ she said.
’Manx Telecom is inviting expressions of interest from local communities, groups and charities who may wish to repurpose the boxes for alternative uses. More details on this scheme will be released in April.’
There are about 50 surviving red public phone boxes. If the annual use falls below 40 chargeable calls, the kiosk can be removed - provided there is generally reasonable mobile coverage in the area.
In 2013 more than 500 signed an online petition calling on Manx Telecom to reverse its decision to remove the phone box at Cregneash and reinstate its telephone. Conister Bank stepped in to save the kiosk and restore it as a working pay phone for the next 10 years.
This week the bank confirmed it will continue to sponsor the phone box and it will stay in place.
A number of redundant phone boxes around the island have been found new uses including as book swaps or to house defibrillators.
Manx Telecom kiosks identified for potential decommissioning (* denotes red kiosk)
Lord Street Bus Station
Hutchinson Sq/Marathon Rd
Palace Hotel, Douglas Prom
O/S Spectrum Apartments, Douglas Prom
Sea Terminal (One MT payphone will remain)
Stephenson’s Way, Farmhill
Heron, Anagh Coar
Lord St / Queen Street
Stoney Road / Bottom Bray Hill *
School Road, Onchan *
Barrule Road, Willaston *
Glencrutchery Road *
Hillberry Road, Onchan *
The Hope, St Johns *
Glen Elfin Rd/May Hill, Ramsey *
Memorial Gardens, Ramsey *
Jurby Road, Ramsey *
The Crofts, Castletown *
Airport main hall ground floor (2 MT payphones will remain at the airport)
Station Road, Colby *
Bradda West Rd, Spaldrick *
Queens Road, PSM *
Rushen School, Four Roads *
Peveril Terrace, Peel *
Peel Exchange, Albany Road *
North View / Roxwell Terrace, Peel *
The Lhargan, Glen Maye *
The Strang *
Union Mills post office *
Ramsey Road / Minorca Hill, Laxey *
Old Laxey *
Andreas Exchange *
Near Kella, Sulby Village *
Sulby Exchange *
Mountain View, Ballaugh