Ulnes Walton residents' anger as village phone and internet connections cut off for days

A Lancashire village has been left without phone or internet connections for days after a HGV tore down overhead cables.

By Tony Durkin
Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 11:16 am
Updated Monday, 4th April 2022, 4:41 pm

Villagers in Ulnes Walton, near Chorley, have been left frustrated since Wednesday, March 30, when the incident happened, leaving most of Ulnes Walton Lane without a connection.

Ulnes Walton Parish Council chairman Nicola Watkinson says several approaches to service provider BT has got them no nearer to a resolution and she has called on the company to treat the situation with greater urgency.

Nicola said: “Ulnes Walton Lane has a HGV restriction on it, however they can access properties and we believe this HGV was delivering to a local farm.

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The scene of the incident in Ulnes Walton

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“We feel that this is being not seen as urgent,

“We have elderly residents who rely on their landline, a care home, businesses and children who are just starting their Easter break.

“Local residents have tried to ask BT to support them but they’ve said no. Unless you upgrade to the Halo package we will not provide a hub.

The incident has left broken cables

“I work for the NHS and my role is to carry out consultations online from home, even the concern of cancelled hospital appointments wasn’t enough to get a temporary hub.

“BT told me to work from a BT free hotspot, but I told them my confidential NHS digital consultations are not allowed in a local cafe.

“An engineer worked on making a loose wire safe and we have seen no one since.

“Through no fault of our own we have been left vulnerable and there’s no end in sight.

“I started to work from home in the early pandemic and this has remained because it worked out far better for the service. I now have to travel to Southport daily until my connection is restored

"I’m so angry, I thought we’d get better support from BT.”

A spokesman for BT Openreach said: “We’re very sorry for the loss of phone and broadband a small number of customers are experiencing following third party damage to our overhead network.

"Engineers have visited the site twice to try to get a temporary service in place but unfortunately it hasn’t been possible.

"We’re trying to get a date confirmed for the work to go ahead as quickly as possible.”