Why have BT’s Openreach engineers dug up Dorchester Road, Ipswich, ‘seven times’ in three months?

Workmen at the site in Dorchester Road, Ipswich. Picture: BRIAN WARD

Workmen at the site in Dorchester Road, Ipswich. Picture: BRIAN WARD - Credit: Archant

People living on an Ipswich street have been left “exasperated” by engineers regularly digging up their road.

Barry Ward, 88, claims teams from Openreach, which look after BT’s telephone cables, have visited Dorchester Road as many as seven times in the past three months,

“I can’t understand why this is happening,” he added.

“It’s not too much of a disruption because it’s quite a quiet street but nevertheless I would have thought it was a fairly simple fault to repair.”

Mr Ward, a retired policeman, said some people in the street, which is near Ipswich Golf Course, had become rather “exasperated” by the frequency of the engineers’ visits.


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He said workmen would visit one day, dig a hole and then leave it for another group to inspect several days later before filling it in. Then, once the problem resurfaced, the work cycle would begin all over again.

“We’ve become used to having these chaps outside digging up holes or looking inside them, but hopefully one day soon it will be all be solved once and for all,” he added.

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“I would have thought with all that technological expertise BT would have done it by now.”

The problem is reported to be caused by a buried section of the underground telephone network known as a “joint”.

Ordinarily, the joint would not require access, however due to a number of recent faults in the vicinity, engineers have needed to make repairs and carry out general maintenance.

As it is buried, rather than contained within a chamber, this has meant digging up the road.

To avoid the problem continuing, engineers are working to make the joint more accessible. If work needs to be done in the future it will be just a case of “lifting the lid”.

In a statement, BT said: ‘We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused.

“Engineers are working to build more convenient access to this section of underground network which will enable them to access it quickly and easily, as and when work is required.”

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