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BT criticised after Barnoldswick phone line fault lasts for weeks
8:00am Friday 19th October 2012 in News
A councillor believes that more than 100 households in Barnoldswick could be without a phone service after BT discovered a faulty cable.
Coun David Whipp (Lib Dem) said: “I’ve been contacted by one household whose number has been out of service for most of September and is no nearer getting the problem fixed.
“Several households lost their service on September 12 and it’s rumoured that 128 households are affected.
“For several weeks, people phoning the affected numbers get a recorded message saying that the phone is out of service due to a fault. BT needs a boot up the backside to get these problems sorted out.”
Michael and Angela Butterworth, who live off Manchester Road in Barnoldswick, have been affected by the fault.
They returned from holiday on September 21 to find that their line and their neighbours’ had been out of service since September 12.
“The normal land line is not working,” said Mr Butterworth. “Even though we have this dodgy line, we’ve got no problem with the internet. So we’ve been using an internet hub phone. But we’ve got friends who don’t have a hub phone or a mobile phone, so they can’t contact us.”
A BT spokesman said it had received the first fault report on September 13. It attended the same day and discovered the fault to be caused by wear and tear on a section of cable.
Engineers attended the following day and confirmed that just over 100 metres of new cable required renewal along Manchester Road.
The spokesman said the company had hoped to make repairs by September 24. But, when the cable gang visited the site to carry out the renewal, they determined it was not safe to do the work without traffic management. They called in surveyors, who decided a road closure was needed.
BT does not have a date for closing the road as it has been gathering information to submit to Lancashire County Council, which needs to approve the closure.
The BT spokesman said: “We are extremely sorry for the delay in carrying out this repair and the inconvenience this is causing.
“In order to meet health and safety working requirements we will submit a request for road closure in order to replace 100 metres of cable along Manchester Road. When a date for road closure is confirmed to us by the local authority we will complete work as quickly as possible and restore service to those currently without.
“I would recommend those affected should contact their service provider to arrange a phone divert to a mobile phone if they have not already done so.”