Works to move ‘danger’ cabinet on Sidmouth junction still not complete after two months

BT Openreach Broadband box at Manstone Mead junction poses hazard say concerned road users

BT Openreach Broadband box at Manstone Mead junction poses hazard say concerned road users - Credit: Archant

Works to move a ‘danger’ cabinet at a Sidmouth junction began in October but will not be finished until after the new year.

County Councillor Stuart Hughes has criticised Openreach for the amount of time it has taken to move the box, which sits near a corner in Manstone Mead and Sidford Road.

He said it was ‘unbelievable’ and a ‘safety issue’ which should take priority.

In January, the Herald reported calls from Highway bosses for an Openreach box to be moved from the junction.

At the time concerned residents branded the ‘obstructive’ box ‘an accident waiting to happen’ and said its position impaired visibility and posed a danger to road users.

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Cllr Hughes said: “There haven’t been any signs of anyone working on this cabinet for weeks and I was led to believe that all the switch over was completed.

“Openreach are well aware of the safety issues and should be completing the removal as a priority.”

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In a previous story, the Herald reported how Openreach initially said it ‘had no plans to move’ the cabinet and maintained that it complied with regulations and Devon County Council had approved the location.

However, the company said they would be open to discussing the matter with councillors.

Following representations from Cllr Hughes and Devon’s highways chief, the company agreed to remove the equipment in June, as a gesture of good will. It was branded a victory of common sense by Cllr Hughes.

Works to move the cabinet began towards the end of October. At the time an Openreach spokesman said a new cabinet was being installed closer to a wall, a few metres away from the junction. He added that a considerable amount of engineering work was needed before services could be transferred to the new cabinet and the original cabinet can be removed.

In the latest statement released by Openreach, a spokesman said: “Moving the cabinet is a big job which has taken longer than originally expected.

“We expect it to be completed by the end of January.”

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