Villagers in Carleton Forehoe ‘cut off’ after car smashes into phone pole

From left, Steve Land, Catherine Fraser and David Fraser, by the knocked-down telephone pole by Norw

From left, Steve Land, Catherine Fraser and David Fraser, by the knocked-down telephone pole by Norwich Road in Carleton Forehoe. Picture: STUART ANDERSON - Credit: Archant

Village residents were left fuming after they were 'given the run around' by BT after a motorist knocked over a telephone pole, leaving them without phone or internet access for more than a week.

The car, following the accident with the telephone pole by Norwich Road in Carleton Forehoe. Picture

The car, following the accident with the telephone pole by Norwich Road in Carleton Forehoe. Picture: STEVE LAND - Credit: Archant

And some fear that the delays had even put lives at risk in Carleton Forehoe, as some of the village residents are elderly, including one 87-year-old who relies on a 'lifeline' device to call out if he gets into trouble.

A driver hit the pole by the side of Norwich Road overnight on Monday, March 6, cutting off the small village.

And although a number of residents reported the incident soon after it happened, they said BT repeatedly gave them assurances it would be fixed while no action was taken.

Denise Woodrow, one nearby resident, said: 'We feel like we've been given the run around by BT. When I phoned them up again they said it hadn't been reported at all but we know that it had.'

The car, following the accident with the telephone pole by Norwich Road in Carleton Forehoe. Picture

The car, following the accident with the telephone pole by Norwich Road in Carleton Forehoe. Picture: STEVE LAND - Credit: Archant


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Another resident, David Fraser, said: 'We understand it might take some time to fix, but the problem is the nonsense that they've peddled. We've been given assurances it would be fixed on a certain day, but nothing happened.

'If they had been less disingenuous it wouldn't have been so bad.'

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Mrs Woodrow said she was concerned about older residents of the village.

She said: 'They've got these lifeline buttons to press that hang around their neck, so they can call someone if there's an emergency or they fall.

Debris left after the car hit a telephone pole by Norwich Road in Carleton Forehoe. Picture: STUART

Debris left after the car hit a telephone pole by Norwich Road in Carleton Forehoe. Picture: STUART ANDERSON - Credit: Archant

'But if they can't call out they can't contact anybody and that puts them in danger.'

Mrs Woodrow said the village had only poor mobile phone reception, which had left residents feeling cut off.

When a reporter visited the site today (Wednesday, March 15) a BT crew was at the scene attempting to finally fix the problem.

A BT spokesman said: 'It is extremely regrettable when Openreach suffers any such damage to its network.

'In such cases every effort is made to undertake the necessary repairs and restore any affected services as quickly as possible. We are currently arranging traffic management necessary because of the speed limit on the road and location of the damage.

'As the cabling crossed the road it is not been possible for us to provide a temporary solution.'

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