BUNGLING engineers who cut through phone lines while trying to fix a water leak have put a business owner’s nose out of joint.

Jan Blankenstein, who runs Swindon Chiropractic Clinic, has said his business has been affected by the lack of telephones, with the busy office working off just one mobile phone instead of four landlines.

And he knows it is not because his patients no longer have any ailments but rather that when Thames Water engineers attempted to fix a water leak at the beginning of December, but they cut through the phone cables while carrying out the work.

Since then, he said he has witnessed a carry on of workmen in yellow coats scratching their heads while peering into a hole in the road, with engineers out on Swindon Road, in Stratton, again just yesterday.

Jan said: “Yesterday was the third time they have dug up the road and, rather than do it on a quiet weekend, they choose to do it on a busy weekday morning.

“Originally it was a water leak and so they dug the road up to fix it.

“That was on December 6 and then on the Friday the phones were not working.

“Then BT said they would come to fix the phone lines and the water firm contractors had left the hole in the road for them, but it was not large enough. So, three days later when they finally did turn up, they couldn’t do anything.

“Then Thames Water filled the hole in.

“It just adds to the comedy of it all that when I went to tell the chap doing the work he just said ‘I’ve been told to fill it – so I’m filling it’.

“So when the chap from BT arrives expecting to find a big hole, he finds its full of Tarmac.

“Only last week BT returned and dug it up again before temporarily fixing the phones and then yesterday morning there were seven men in yellow coats standing around discussing what to do next.

“It has impacted on the business as we’ve been down to one mobile phone and it is the fact it has taken more than a month to fix it.”

A spokesman for Thames Water said: “We repaired a water leak in Swindon Road in December, but unfortunately we accidentally severed phone cables during this work.

“We’re very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and are working with BT to get this fixed as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for BT Openreach said: “Our primary objective has been to restore service with a temporary fix.

“However, the civil engineering work involved in the permanent repair requires careful planning and engineers are doing all they can to complete that work as quickly as possible.”