THE majority of public telephone boxes that were under threat of closure by BT, including a historic one unveiled by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, have been saved.

Last year the telecoms giant released plans to scrap 50 call boxes in the Ribble Valley but were met with opposition from the borough council.

Now, 42 across the area are to be maintained by the firm, two will be adopted by parish councils, but six in Clitheroe, Whalley and Mellor will be closed.

One of the saved boxes, in Dunsop Bridge, was opened by Mr Fiennes in 1993 and was the country’s the 100,000th kiosk.

It was opened to celebrate the village being designated as the centre of the British Isles, by Ordnance Survey, in 1993.

The boxes at the junction of Yew Tree Drive in Preston New Road, Mellor, at the junction of Mitton Road and Kingsmill Avenue in Whalley and the one in Mitton Road, Whalley, will all close.

They will be scrapped along with the one at the junction of Whalley Road and Turner Street in Clitheroe, the box in St Paul’s Street, Clitheroe and the one in Pimlico Road, Clitheroe.

The boxes in Church View, Wilpshire, and at the junction of Longridge Road and Hesketh Lane, Chipping, will be adopted by the local parish councils but the services will not be retained.

In January, borough council chief executive Marshall Scott lodged objections to 42 of the boxes being removed.

Cllr Ian Brown, who represents Clitheroe on the borough council, said: “The council will be pleased that the boxes that it objected to closing will now stay open for public use.

“It’s good that the boxes in rural areas of the borough will stay because not everybody has a mobile phone.

“BT is obviously a commercial business and it will have looked at the ones that are being used and the ones that are not.

“I can understand why the boxes in the urban areas will be closed but there isn’t anything we can do about that now anyway.

“It’s good that the council has got what it wanted and has saved the majority of the boxes from closure.”

Among the boxes that will stay open are Greendale View, Grindleton, Whalley Road, Pendleton, Dugdale Lane, Slaidburn, Fort Street, Read, Kestor Lane, Longridge, and Church Raike, Chipping.

The box adjacent to the Swan with Two Necks pub in Pendleton will also stay open.