OUTRAGED villagers are still cut off from the outside world after thieves stole cable causing landlines and broadband to fail.
More than two weeks after thieves stole cabling from a telecoms exchange in Helsby villagers in neighbouring Elton are still suffering the consequences of the crime.
Frustrated villagers, who woke on Tuesday, March 13, to find their phones had no dial tone and their internet had no signal, are still waiting to have their phones reconnected despite being promised they would be repaired by last Friday.
Gillian Edwards, who lives on Old Hall Lane in Elton, said she had been waiting more than a fortnight to have her phone reconnected, which was the emergency contact number in case anything happens to her elderly mother in Wales.
“We have been cut off now for over two weeks,” said Mrs Edwards.
“I can’t get anyone to listen to us or tell us what is going on. My mother is elderly and has just got out of hospital and I am the emergency contact for her. If anything happens the number is down so they won’t be able to get through.”
Mrs Edwards said that she had been ringing Talk Talk every day from her mobile phone, racking up a large bill which she is not sure will ever be reimbursed – and she is still none the wiser about when the line will be fixed.
“Every day they say it will be fixed within a day, and now when we ring we just get an automated machine,” added Mrs Edwards.
“They said that our lines are crossed and so someone else could be receiving our calls. But no one is getting back to us, we have had no date given, no body returns my calls and nobody will let us know when this problem is going to be fixed.”
Two weeks ago the cable theft caused havoc for residents and businesses in the village as ATMs failed and telephones, card payment machines and internet services stopped working.
But despite many BT repair vans being seen in both Helsby and Elton, Mrs Edwards said that the Post Office ATM was still not working and she fears that many old people would be unable to contact carers and relatives living further afield.
BT spokeswoman Emma Tennant said: “The majority of the work had been completed by the end of last week, but we are still doing final checks in the area.
“We apologise that some residents lines are still not fully working, but when you are doing a massive repair job like this it is extremely painstaking because we have to reconnect one customer at a time.”
Police are still appealing for information after thieves stole cabling from the telecoms exchange on Chester Road, Helsby between 8am-3pm on Tuesday, March 13.
Anyone with information, should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101.