Elderly lose vital phone lines at their Portsmouth homes due to BT problem

CUT OFF Manager Peggy Restall, back, with residents Rose Dabner, Florence Millar, Joanne Phillips, Elsie Byng, and Pat Young.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (122924-3)

CUT OFF Manager Peggy Restall, back, with residents Rose Dabner, Florence Millar, Joanne Phillips, Elsie Byng, and Pat Young. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (122924-3)

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ELDERLY people living in a residential block have complained after engineering work cut off their telephone lines for two weeks.

Residents at the sheltered housing block of flats in Timpson Road, Portsmouth, say their worried families have been unable to contact them – fearing the worst.

BT says the on-going issue is because of a damaged underground cable.

Florence Millar, 95, said the issue has left her feeling depressed.

She said: ‘I’m not feeling too good at the moment because I’m really annoyed about it.
‘My family cannot get in touch with me and if I want a taxi I cannot get one. I’m not too good walking and I have to walk to the place where I am going, like Asda.

‘At my age, I’m feeling really depressed.

‘The phone is a lifeline for me at my age.’

Mrs Millar said she has had to rely on the help of the building’s scheme manager Peggy Restall for help.

Mrs Restall said: ‘A daughter phoned me in a panic thinking their mum had passed away.

‘I have phoned BT and they said it would be done in two days, but it hasn’t happened.’

The family of Elsie Byng, 91, even travelled from Kent to find out why she was not answering the phone.

BT spokesman Andy Hayward said the firm was doing all it can to restore the service as ‘quickly as possible’ and apologised for the inconvenience it has caused the residents.

He said: ‘We have carried out excavations and a full survey and found that we need to replace around 15 metres of cabling and associated ducting.’

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