14-day wait and still no phone line

Stephen Bannister who has been trying to run a business for the past two weeks with no landline and no internet connection.
Stephen Bannister who has been trying to run a business for the past two weeks with no landline and no internet connection.

SCORES of Scarborough residents have been locked in a two-week battle with BT after being left with no landline nor internet connection.

The 82 households affected are mainly in the Filey Road area and have been left without service due to a damaged cable.

Stephen Bannister, who works from home as an independent financial adviser, says the past fortnight has been “murder”.

He said: “I could have lost clients as a result of this. If you call the landline it just rings out and sounds like no-one is answering.

“I can’t download forms and print them off. I’m having to go to a cash machine every time I want to check my account balance.”

Mr Bannister, who lives in Sea View Drive, added: “Tempers must be rising in the area.”

Some users of the Coastcall emergency “buzzer” service are also believed to have been affected, as the system relies on a working BT phone line.

Trish Lambert, Coastcall’s marketing and installation officer, said: “This could cause people to have their lifelines cut off.

“BT is supposed to provide a priority service for people with a lifeline and they shouldn’t be left waiting.”

Ms Lambert added that their control centre system would be aware of a power cut, but would not automatically be made aware of telephone lines being down.

She said: “We wouldn’t be aware unless people contacted us. I would advise anyone having problems to contact their service provider straight away.

“BT should provide a priority list for those with a lifeline.”

Seven residents in Knipe Point have also been without a phone line and internet connection.

Michael Turner, secretary of the Knipe Point Owners Association, and one of those affected, said: “This has been going on for weeks now.

“We keep getting conflicting reports as to what is going on, and how long it’s going to take to fix.

“No-one seems to know what’s going on. It seems to be affecting quite a large area too.

“It’s very frustrating that no-one can get in touch with me, either on the phone or by email.”

A spokeswoman from BT said: “We currently have a fault in the Filey Road area caused by a damaged cable.

“When engineers went to repair the cable, however, gas began leaking into the ducts and into the manhole where the engineers were working.

“The gas board were called and have located and repaired two leaks. However, gas is still present in the manhole indicating there could be a further leak and preventing any further repair work by our guys for obvious reasons.

“We are keeping closely in touch with the gas board and will continue the repair as soon as possible.

“At this time we cannot give a date when we expect service to be back up and running.”

She added: “We would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused and will continue repairs as soon as it is safe to do so.”