Why the wait for lines restored?

FRUSTRATED: Melford Road residents Garry Middleton and Sylvia Dales wait for phones to be reconnected.
FRUSTRATED: Melford Road residents Garry Middleton and Sylvia Dales wait for phones to be reconnected.

A group of residents in Sudbury are battling to get their telephones and broadband put back on after a power cut.

Hundreds of homes were affected when a car ploughed into a telegraph pole in Melford Road on February 4, bringing down cables.

The road was closed for more than six hours as police and power company engineers worked to restore power to 1,300 homes.

But more than two weeks later, some residents who run home businesses are still waiting for their phones to be reconnected, and are unable to access the internet.

They have been told February 28 – nearly a month after the incident – is the earliest BT can reconnected them because of the backlog of work it has.

One resident had to move out of her home in Melford Road because her pregnant daughter had no way of contacting her when she went into labour.

Linda Joslin, who runs Dreamseller, a vintage clothes shop in Long Melford, said: “My pregnant daughter needed to contact me because, when she went into labour, I was going to look after her toddler.

“I literally had to move out of my house and stay with her for three days because there was no way she could contact me. The phone is dead – I have a mobile but my network Vodaphone does not work in Melford Road.”

She added: “Fortunately, Issy gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Rose on Friday.”

Mrs Joslin has been using the library to access the internet to help run her online clothes business.

She has also been unable to manage a counselling service she runs online since the accident.

“My 87-year-old father who lives in Cornard Road normally calls at 6.30pm but since this has happened he has not been to, so he feels cut off, too,” she said.

She described the situation as “absolutely dreadful”.

Pottery business owner Sylvia Dales said she had contacted BT on several occasions to chase up the work.

“We are invisible as far as they are concerned. They keep telling us one thing which is then contradicted. You never get to speak to the same person twice,” she said.

“The latest I have been told is that it will be fixed on February 28, but that is ages away. We just can’t understand why it would take so long.”

Mrs Dales said she relies on the internet for her business, as do other residents in the same position.

She added: “BT keeps giving us false information.

“It seems impossible to get any true information, and it’s so frustrating.

“It’s affecting all of our lives in different ways.

“I’m currently having to prevail upon the generosity of friends who are still connected.”

“I’ve been so annoyed about it that I went along to the local exchange building in Newton Road to see if I could get any information.

“I spoke to some engineers from the company and they said that because of the storms and gales there was a big backlog of work to deal with.

“But this incident happened way before the recent storms so I can’t see how they could use that as an excuse.”