Hundreds left without phone lines over Easter

News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174856001
News. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150807-174856001
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Hundreds of homes were left without phone lines throughout the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Residents and businesses in West Chiltington and Storrington lost their lines after an attempt was made to steal underground cabling.

Engineers repaired 250 metres of cabling and were forced to build a new access box following the incident on Thursday (April 13).

David Davies, of The Juggs, said his line was fixed by Saturday although an issue meant his calls were diverted to a different property.

He said: “They connected the lines but our number was being answered at number 13.”

The problem was fixed by Wednesday and Mr Davies praised BT for its quick response.

The Post Office, in Church Street, also had its number diverted and was closed for three days.

Judy Fryer, postmistress, said: “We have not been able to give pensions, we have turned parcels away and special deliveries, anything that needs running through the system.

“Vulnerable people who haven’t got access to a vehicle or who can’t go anywhere else to get it have had to sit tight and wait.

“People could not top up their gas and electricity on their keys. It’s been disruptive and frustrating.”

Openreach said the problem had affected hundreds of homes. Most had been reconnected but it was still working to fix a few faults.

A spokesman said: “Following the attempted underground cable theft in West Chiltington, Pullborough, service affected customers in the village and some surrounding areas.

“On a complex repair such as this occasionally we get crossed lines.

“Openreach engineers have already restored service to the vast majority of customers. There are a small number of outstanding faults, twenty, that we hope to be resolved this week.

“If residents experience further problems after the main works are completed they should report to their service provider so that it can be investigated by Openreach.

“Openreach has a partnership with crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers. If you have any information on this incident please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org”

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