Phone company says Catterick roadworks delays aren’t its fault

Vodafone says it is not to blame for delays with the White Shops junction improvement work.

The roadworks began last autumn and were meant to be completed within 12 weeks.

A revised completion date of July was then given, but North Yorkshire County Council said last month that alterations to cables belonging to Vodafone meant this date was also not achievable.

Officials now say the work will continue until November – almost a year after it was due to finish.

Council officers said they had repeatedly sought a date for the cabling to be moved so the junction could be finished, however Vodafone failed to give a definite date for moving the cabling until 9 May.

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But the phone company denied it had held up the work unnecessarily.

In a statement to Richmondshire Today it said: “We understand that the completion of the work in Catterick has been delayed by drainage issues as well as the relocation of cabling.

“Our agreement with the council was for the work to relocate the cabling to be completed by 14 June – 12 to 16 weeks after the agreed start date – with final completion by 14 July.

“We’re sorry that road users have been inconvenienced by these works but we are on schedule to complete on time.”

Local businesses say they have had to make redundancies because of the impact of the road works.

However, Catterick county councillor Helen Grant still believes the phone company is at fault.

She said: “Notwithstanding the Vodafone comments I understand that the delays are substantially down to them. It’s not just the road users who have been inconvenienced – some businesses are near to closure and businesses run from vans are delayed by hours during the working day.

“I still cannot believe that a project of this scale and local importance has been dogged with such failure. The initial plotting of the site should have shown the ‘unseen’ utilities.

“I hope that the date to finish can be met or bettered this time and that all relevant penalties can be retrieved.”

Local businesses say they have already made redundancies due to a reduction in business because of the work and are now at risk of going out of business.