BBC News

'Dangerous' manhole in Ipswich covered by complaints

Published
image captionJoanne Enfield decided to display a detailed explanation of her repeated attempts to get a manhole fixed

A "dangerous" manhole near a retirement complex has taken so long to fix, it has been covered with complaints.

The loose cover on the pavement on Cobbold Mews in Ipswich was reported on 6 June, but engineers were sent to the wrong street and it is still not fixed.

Building manager Joanne Enfield attached notices to a safety frame place around the cover, listing her dealings with broadband firm Openreach.

The firm apologised and said repair work would take place next week.

image captionThe loose manhole cover, outside a retirement housing complex, was first reported at the start of June

The manhole is near the entrance to Christchurch Court, a complex of flats for retired people on Cobbold Mews.

In August, the company mistakenly sent staff to nearby Christchurch Street, and Ms Enfield said the job was then marked as "closed" by the company, which she says is responsible for making it safe.

She said: "I'm doing my best to get this fixed, but I keep being held up and I haven't got the energy to keep explaining to everybody who's complaining about it.

"It's very dangerous. These are elderly people with walking aids, some are hard of hearing, and they have to walk out into the road, so who's going to take responsibility when something goes wrong?"

She explained there were initially delays because engineers said they needed signatures for permission to work near private property.

image copyrightGoogle
image captionChristchurch Court is a development of 35 flats for retired people near Ipswich town centre

One of the signs reads: "I sincerely apologise to anyone pushing prams into the road" and another provides a phone number for people to complain directly to Openreach.

The company is a division of BT, which runs the UK's broadband infrastructure.

An Openreach spokesperson said: "We are really sorry for the amount of time it's taken to fix this manhole cover in Christchurch Court, and understand the frustration of those living nearby.

"Things have been complicated slightly with it being located on a private road, which means we had to seek permission to work there. These permissions are now in place and this work is an absolute priority for us, and is taking place next week."

Related Topics

  • Ipswich