More than 100 villagers cut off after contractors accidentally damage telecoms cables near Market Drayton

By Rob Smith | Market Drayton | News | Published:

About 130 villagers were cut off from their landlines and broadband after contractors accidentally damaged telephone cables while repairing a road.

Cheswardine's High Street, which is closed. Photo: Google Street View

Elderly villagers in Cheswardine, near Market Drayton, are still being affected and the High Street is closed after surfacing contractors damaged lines last Thursday.

It is estimated that engineers will have finished the repairs by the end of tomorrow, January 21.

Beverly Smith of Copelea has lived in the village for 11 years. She said she had concerns for a 93-year-old friend who has health issues.

"She is vision-impaired, she has got no mobile phone. She has got nobody in the night to see to her," she said.

"We're taking it in turns to check on her.

"This side of the village is all bungalows so it's mostly elderly people."

Pamela Owen said: "The issue here is lack of communication – some residents reportedly received advice ahead but we certainly didn’t.

"Whilst many of us will miss having a phone and broadband there is the more concerning issue where elderly residents have a Careline link. These will now not work."


'Severe damage'

The High Street is closed between Westcott Lane and Podmore Road and though it was feared it might be shut into next week, Openreach said the work should be complete tomorrow.

Gary Parton, Shropshire Council’s network co-ordination and compliance manager, said: “Unfortunately surfacing contractors working to repair a previous defect have severely damaged a telecoms cable leading to properties losing service.

“BT contractors are currently on site and worked over the weekend to repair the cable.


"The latest estimation from contractors on site is that the repair work will be completed and the road fully reinstated and open to traffic by the end of the working day on Tuesday, January 21."

A spokesman for Openreach said: “Part of our network in the Cheswardine area has been damaged and this has caused some problems to phone and broadband for around 130 homes in the local area.

"Our engineers are aware and are working hard to carry out a repair, but due to the complex nature of this, the work is taking a few days to complete.

"We’re really sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

Rob Smith

By Rob Smith

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based at Ketley in Telford.


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