18/08/11 Vandals slash phone lines Lincolnshire caravan park


PHONE HACKED OFF: The cable that has been removed from the ground in Short Ferry Road, near Fiskerton, after it was cut.


PHONE HACKED OFF: Residents and guests at Short Ferry Caravan Park, who have been without telephone or internet since the weekend.

DOZENS of pensioners living at a caravan park have had their phone lines cut off for almost a week after vandals severed an underground cable.

And the park’s owner says he has lost thousands of pounds of trade as internet access to the area was also lost.

Residents at Short Ferry Caravan Park, near Fiskerton, said worried families had no way of contacting them after they started experiencing problems last Friday.

BT has sent technicians to fix the problem near Stockholme Farm, where about 150 metres of cabling is having to be replaced.

The company said the problem should be resolved by tomorrow.

Dave Gardner, 64, said he was worried about his daughter who is due to give birth next week.

He said: “My daughter lives in Loughborough and she is expecting a baby next week.

“It’s important to know that she is well. It’s worrying actually.”

Judy Bogg, 48, said she had been forced to drive seven miles to work to hand in a sick note, because she could not use her phone.

Sandra Glynn, 66, said the telephone was a “lifeline” for her husband whose illness meant he requires regular check-ups with the hospital.

John Nugent, 68, said he was racking up large mobile phone bills as he tried to get in touch with BT to transfer his calls to the handheld device.

He said: “I feel very let down by BT.

“Talking to family is very important for us. My daughter calls every Tuesday to check if we’re all right. We feel isolated.”

Short Ferry Caravan Park has about 40 permanent residents, 250 static homes and 100 other pitches.

Rob Hardman, owner of the site, says his pub and fishing tackle business have also suffered heavy losses because of the problem.

He said: “We have lost a lot of trade over the week.

“I wouldn’t like to say how much. It’s just been a nightmare.

“It’s supposed to be our busiest time of the year, and the swimming pool should be full, but it isn’t.

“It will definitely have a knock-on effect, as people making last minute bookings will just go somewhere else.”

Mr Hardman said his businesses could not take bookings, accept credit cards or take payments for online purchases.

BT spokesman Emma Littlejohn said the delay had been caused by a requirement that traffic restrictions were installed as a safety precaution before work could begin.

She said: “We totally understand and sympathise about a loss of telephone and internet services and we always try to restore services as soon as we can.

“We have not been able to do this as quickly as we would like because we have had to work with the authority and put traffic lights in.”

BT said it was committed to preventing copper theft and damage to copper cables and was working with the police on the issue.

Lincolnshire Police said no arrests had been made and investigations were ongoing. Anyone with information should call 0300 1110300.