Police called as residents block work to install telegraph poles in Hedon

Hedon poles protest
Police were called after residents blocked a truck carrying the poles. Credit: ITV News

Police were called to an estate after residents blocked work to install telegraph poles.

Protesters repeatedly crossed the road in front of a truck carrying the masts to prevent it from accessing the housing development off Hull Road in Hedon, East Yorkshire.

It came after they were told they could be charged with obstructing the highway if they stood stationary in the road.

Humberside Police officers attended to ensure a peaceful protest.

Tuesday's stand-off, which lasted over an hour, was the latest stage in a row over plans by communications company MS3 Networks to install masts to improve broadband connections.

Objectors say the company should use existing infrastructure.

Julie Dervey, who has lived in Hedon for 40 years, said there were plans to install two poles close to her house. She said: "We all want cheaper broadband, but there are ways and means of improving your broadband and making it cheaper.

"What we don't want is backwards technology. We were told that MS3 were going to use underground cables, but for some reason they have decided not to use underground cables and just install these ugly wooden poles all over the place.

The stand-off lasted over an hour. Credit: ITV News

"This estate has no telegraph poles, the only street furniture it has is lampposts. We don't want all these ugly telegraph poles."

Residents claim markings on the pavements indicating where poles would go had appeared overnight.

Clive Jackson said: "Putting telegraph poles up is going back to how it was when I was a kid - it's going backwards. That's why we moved onto a new estate, because everything is underground, everything is nice and neat. You don't want them digging the roads up."

The protest on Shields Road happened the day after a similar stand-off on nearby Westlands Drive. MS3 managed to install some masts on Westlands Drive despite the objections.

  • Resident Julie Dervey says the poles are 'ugly'

Guy Miller, CEO of MS3 Networks, said residents were aware that planning permission was not required for the work and those living on Shields Road and Westlands Drive were given 28 days’ notice.

He said: "We understand some residents are upset by this work. It’s not our intention to cause disturbance, and we want to work with residents in the most effective way possible.

"We’d like to remind residents that it is against the 1984 Telecommunications Act to obstruct telecoms workers when they’re carrying out work. That is for their safety and for that of the public and,while we encourage an open dialogue to help residents understand the work we’re doing, that must be done safely.

"While there are some residents that are not interested in our service at this moment, there are many who are. We know people can save up to £200 on their internet costs and there are many that would like to have that choice."

A Humberside Police spokesperson said: "Police officers are liaising with residents on Shields Road in Hedon following reports of a small number of people and vehicles obstructing the highway.

"Officers in attendance are engaging with those involved to allow people to go about their lawful business and to protect the right of individuals who have chosen to protest."

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