DAMAGE to a cable left hundreds of customers in Hale Barns without a phone line over the festive period.

BT says the fault was caused by water flooding a duct and damaging the cable.

The telecommmunications giant received 300 reports of faults - but admits even more customers may have been affected.

BT told Messenger engineers worked extra shifts over the holiday period including, some night working.

They replaced several hundred metres of cable.

Extra staff are being drafted in over the weekend and it is hoped that by the end of the weekend service to all will have been restored.

A BT spokesman said: "“We would like to apologise to customers in the Hale Barns area who have been without telephone service.

"Water caused damage to a major cable with repairs involving the replacement of several hundred metres of cable and duct along a busy stretch of road. "Engineers have been working extra shifts and through the night to complete repairs as quickly as possible. We currently have 20 residual faults which we are hopeful to repair over the weekend.”