Concerns raised over lack of phone service

BT Scotland is aware of issues and apologises to customers.
BT Scotland is aware of issues and apologises to customers.
  • BT Scotland apologises for ongoing disruption
  • Phone lines in Nursery Street, Priory Court and Arbroath Road affected
  • Some customers have been without a service since January

A Forfar woman has expressed her fears for the well-being of elderly and vulnerable residents in the east end of Forfar, some of whom she claims have been without a telephone service since January.

Wilma Whyte contacted the ‘Dispatch and Herald’ on Monday after repeatedly trying to get answers from BT Scotland.

She said: “I have been calling them on behalf of one resident who lives in Priory Court. I have been told some residents in Nursery Street, Priory Court and Arbroath Road have been without phone lines since January.

“My worry is for the vulnerable who may be on the community alarm scheme. If there is no phone service then you have a dead alarm. A vulnerable person could be lying in their home, unable to contact anyone.

“I have been trying to get answers from BT and at one point it was suggested the elderly could use mobile phones.

“I am terrified something happens. I am the first call-out for a resident in Priory Court but no phone means no alarm, no call-out. It’s really worrying and pathetic given this is 2015; we now have all this technology but we have phones which haven’t worked for nearly three months.”

When contacted about the complaint on Monday a spokeswoman for BT Scotland said: “Underground cable damage is affecting a number of phone lines in the Nursery Street, Priory Court and Arbroath Road area of Forfar.

“Four-way traffic lights were required to allow engineers safe access to the affected underground junction box located in a manhole, and these were subject to a 28-day statutory notice period.

“The street works were approved for March 6 but unfortunately after gaining access, engineers discovered that the damage was not limited to the junction box. They now need to replace a 95-metre stretch of heavy cable between two manholes and further roadworks are required to let engineers work safely on these repairs.

“Planners are liaising with the local authority to secure the relevant statutory permissions.

“We’re sorry for the ongoing disruption to local services.

“Anyone who is experiencing difficulties should report a fault to their service provider which will liaise with Openreach on their behalf and may also be able to help with practical measures such a line diverts to alternative numbers.”