Games at fault for Polmont phone delays

Carol Brown and Labrador Zaffa outside Polmont Veterinary Clinic's new premises''Picture: Michael Gillen
Carol Brown and Labrador Zaffa outside Polmont Veterinary Clinic's new premises''Picture: Michael Gillen

Director Carole Brown was stunned to be told the delay in providing a phone line to her new premises was due to the Commonwealth Games.

Along with husband James, she has spent five years planning the move from Polmont Veterinary Clinic’s current location in Station Road to a purpose-built facility in nearby Bo’ness Road, off Kirk Entry.

With the opening planned for Monday, August 4, the couple became concerned when BT Scotland failed to turn up on three occasions since early June to install the vital phone line.

Despite repeated attempts to arrange for the work to take place, she was shocked last week to learn that work for the Glasgow Games was taking priority and everything else would have to wait.

Carol said: “Our move is booked for August 1 when the lease on our current premises runs out. We have booked and paid for several independent suppliers to travel long distances to fit specialist equipment that day.

“I therefore cannot accept that because of the Commonwealth Games, not one single BT Openreach engineer can come and connect the necessary lines to allow us to open on August 4.

“Rather than being good for business, it would appear that the Commonwealth Games will have a detrimental effect on my business.”

The Browns set up their business 12 years ago and currently employ eight other people.

Carol, who also works in the clinic as a veterinary nurse, added: “I can understand that there is a high volume of work, but if BT had told us that at the outset we wouldn’t have arranged to move in August and delayed our plans. Now we have everything arranged it is impossible to put it on hold.

However, the day after The Falkirk Herald contacted the telecoms provider, engineers arrived on site.

A spokesman for BT Scotland said: “Openreach engineers visited the new Polmont veterinary offices last Friday to begin laying the 125 metres of new cabling required to provide service. Unfortunately, we discovered damage to one of the ducts we need to use so our contractors have to dig underneath a roadway to rebuild the ducts.

“We expect this work to be completed on Thursday when the cabling can resume, and everything should be up and running in time for the opening.”