A Moray village has remained cut off from telephone and internet services almost two weeks after they went down during the aftermath of Hurricane Bertha.
British Telecom say that they have had to deal with a large number of faults throughout Moray – but many residents in Portknockie are still waiting on their services being reinstated.
Villagers have always faced difficulties with mobile telephone reception – now for many the only means of contacting the outside world in an emergency is to walk to a high point such as the memorial to make their call.
“It is ridiculous for people in this day and age not to have a telephone,” local councillor Ron Shepherd commented, adding: “A lot of older people in the area rely solely on their land lines.”
Gwen Telfer, who is a barmaid at the Victoria Hotel, has become increasingly concerned for her daughter who is due to give birth. She said: “She is past her due date already – but she can hardly just run up the road to tell me if there is any news.
[box] “We have tried to get BT to do something but they just keep saying it is not a fault.”[/box] “The mobile is not working because it hardly ever gets a signal so I have to leave it in one place – and if you go to bed you can’t take it with you.
“We have tried to get BT to do something but they just keep saying it is not a fault.”
Elderly residents who have been provided with panic-buttons should they be facing any difficulties cannot use them because they are linked to the telephone system.
A BT spokesman denied that there was major issues in the area saying that there were only “three or four faults” on the local grid that connects Portknockie to the exchange in Cullen.
The spokesman added: “There have been a lot of faults caused by flooding, but the work going on at the viaduct at Cullen is completely separate and part of the new broadband roll-out.”