Telegraph pole crash causes internet blackout for residents

The aftermath of the incident on the Old Shoreham Road
The aftermath of the incident on the Old Shoreham Road

Phone and internet lines were down for about 40 Brighton residents after a van crashed into a telegraph pole on Tuesday morning (October 10).

The driver of the Calabash hygiene van said he was on his way to a job at 7.15am when an animal crossed the street in front of him on Old Shoreham Road, and he swerved into the pole trying to avoid it.

Preferring to remain nameless, he said: “It was either a cat or a fox. I’m upset that my van is knackered but only my pride is bruised.”

Police closed the road from Prestonville Road to New England Road until 10.20am.

The incident leaves around 40 residents without phone or internet for more than a week as the wires connecting to the pole had to be cut.

Openreach were on the scene quickly to cut 40 wires and begin the process of reinstalling phone lines.

A field engineer from Openreach said: “Long ladders are needed on most houses on one side of the road.

“It’s a safety issue because we need to get overhead wires across a busy road, it’s almost a perfect storm.”

He said the ‘pole gang’ had been notified to install a new telegraph pole and this was a high priority situation, but it could take more than a week to install new phone lines.

Steve Gee, 59, a carpenter and resident of Old Shoreham Road, said: “I feel quite inconvenienced, as I won’t be able to use my phone for a week, but I’m glad no one was hurt.”

A tow truck arrived at 11.15am to remove the damaged van.

The pole has been surrounded with red tape waiting for the Openreach ‘pole gang’ to remove it.