Councillor’s fury at ‘unexpected’ Lanark roadworks

Councillor Ed Archer
Councillor Ed Archer

BT Outreach has denied claims that it once again carried out fibre-optic cable-laying works in Lanark without giving prior notice to either the roads authority or local residents.

People living in Hope Street spent a sleepless night on Monday into the small hours of Tuesday when, according to one resident, Councillor Ed Archer, a BT team “just turned up without warning” at about 6pm and started putting up road closure signs.

Actual digging up of the street to lay cables didn’t start until 10.30pm and went on through the night until around 6am, he said.

An irate Councillor Archer told the Gazette on Tuesday morning: “The steam is coming out of my ears about this. I know we residents didn’t get any warning, and I checked this morning with the South Lanarkshire Council roads department and they say they weren’t notified either.”

His anger was all the greater given that the telecommunucations giant was fined just £120 by the council earlier this year for unauthorised cable-laying works in the neighbouring Westport.

That fine, the Gazette calculated, amounted to a few seconds’ worth of BT’s annual profits.

On Tuesday, a BT spokesman said the Hope Street works were essential and insisted that it had given the council prior warning of its intention to them carry out.

He said: “Permission was granted by the council for this work to take place through the night.”