Lightning strikes phone lines

LIGHTNING has left a number of Portishead homes without a telephone service after it struck a line in the street, destroying an underground cable.

Eight houses in Slade Road had their landline service cut after a storm on August 29 and angry residents say they still have no idea when their telephones will be working again.

Tom Brooks, one of the residents affected, says the situation is becoming increasingly frustrating as they keep receiving conflicting information.

He said: “Openreach, which maintains the telephone network, has sent engineers out on several occasions, and they keep telling us the problem will be fixed in a day or two, but this has gone on for five weeks and we don’t appear to be any nearer having our telephones back in operation.”

Mr Brooks says he and his neighbours are finding it impossible to obtain meaningful and accurate feedback from Openreach or their individual service providers and they are desperate to have their service restored.

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A spokesman for British Telecom said: “BT would like to apologise to its customers for the loss of service caused after lightning caused considerable damage to a section of underground cable and for the delay in restoring service.

“Engineers have been working hard to find a solution but contractors need to lay 84 metres of new ducting before a cable can be installed and connected up, which requires careful planning and surveys before the work can commence.”

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He said a site meeting now has to be arranged with representatives from North Somerset Council as the road may need to be closed for safety reasons. No date has yet been set for this meeting.

The spokesman added: “Engineers are doing all they can to repair the damaged cable as soon as possible.”

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