Phone box could get a new calling as a cash machine

The phone box on Reepham Market place which is being converted to an ATM. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The phone box on Reepham Market place which is being converted to an ATM. Picture: Matthew Usher.

An old phone box could help provide a solution for traders suffering from the loss of a town's only bank.

BT Payphones has submitted an application to Broadland District Council to open a cash machine in the phone box in Reepham Market Place.

Traders have been hit since HSBC closed its Reepham branch on October 9.

The company said the decision to close was due to the fact that use of the branch has fallen significantly in recent years.

Brenda Gostling, chairman of Reepham Chamber of Commerce, said: 'If people can't get cash in Reepham they go elsewhere to do their shopping.

'Traders are already noticing that takings are significantly down since the bank closed and it is very worrying.' She added: 'We understand a number of options for bringing a cash machine to Reepham are under discussion.

'We like the idea of the phone box being used.

Most Read

'It has been done elsewhere and worked out well.

'There have been some suggestions that it may not be practical to make it happen and may not be viable, so we will have to wait and see.

'We hope it could be installed before Christmas but suspect that it may not happen until next year.'

BT has, in recent years, been converting some of Britain's iconic red phone boxes into ATM cash machines.

Due to the rise in mobile phones, many kiosks were sold off or decommissioned and this is one way some could be saved from closure.

The Times reported last month how the phone box in Swanton Morley has been turned into a book exchange.

Swanton Morley Parish Council bought the kiosk from BT for £1 after it had just £1.80 worth of use over a whole year.

What do you think of the proposals? E mail adam.lazzari@archant.co.uk