Orchard Street BT phone lines cut off for two weeks

Residents of Orchard Street in Chichester have been up in arms after their BT phone lines have been cut off for over two weeks.

At least 30 houses have been cut off since Friday, July 20, and they are furious that no consistent explanation has been given as to why this has happened.

Marie Hurst, 34, an Orchard Street resident, has a son who uses the internet for school work and is furious that he has been unable to.

She had been given numerous dates by BT for the lines to be fixed.

“I’ve phoned BT, the district council, the county council, the highways department, and no-one has given us a reasonable explanation of what as happened here,” said Mrs Hurst.

“We are spending a fortune on our mobiles, and paying for a phone line we aren’t able to use.”

Resident Ann Wells has even had to go out and buy a mobile phone because of the fault, which she is not happy about.

“I never wanted to buy a mobile phone, and now because of this I have had to,” she said.

This comes less than a day after the controversial £141,000 roadworks were completed down the street.

Emma Littlejohn, spokesman for BT, said: “Our underground cable was damaged by a third party and we repaired some of the damage on Friday and were hoping to be able to restore service to the impacted today.”

Spokesman Jeremy Dunning said: “The work that we carried out in Orchard Street was resurfacing, which means we skimmed off the top of the road to a depth of about 450mm and replaced that.

“Any cables should have been at a greater depth than that so we shouldn’t have damaged any cabling.

“Moreover BT has not informed us of any issues and we are unaware of the fault.”

As the Observer went to press (Thursday, August 2) no progress had been made, and resident Gail Gold said she had contacted BT 12 days after the lines had been cut off and they told her they were aware of the problem but that it was unresolved.

She said: “I think it is disgraceful that a big company like BT that have been running for years can’t sort out this problem.

“Although the lady I spoke to seemed nice, she was very unconcerned about the issue.

“I will be seeking compensation as I am sure others who have been affected will.”