Bypass costs TV viewers hundreds

TELEVISION is the window to the outside world for housebound Holbrook couple Gordon and Veronica Jones.

But that window has closed with work on the construction of the Holbrook bypass.

Mr Jones, who had a severe stroke last year, and Mrs Jones, who has multiple sclerosis, are not alone.

Several Holbrook residents have paid hundreds of dollars for antennas after they said the bypass had blocked television signals from Mount Baranduda.

Albury antenna installer Zane Berry, who services Holbrook every week, said up to 40 homes on the Culcairn side of town were affected and he had installed 15 new antennas in the area in two months.

“We’ve 30 per cent less reception than before the overpass and sound barriers,” Mr Berry said.

Holbrook caravan park owner Trevor Liddell said reception in cabins 150 metres from the bypass had been affected four months ago and bad reception had spread to caravan sites as the barriers went up.

“I started getting complaints from clients but I wasn’t able to do much,” Mr Liddell said.

He has complained to the Roads and Maritime Services and may install new antennas or a transmitter.

“Television is part of the standard furniture,” he said.

Young Street couple Lesley Bult and Desmond Keenan, irked by reception where “even the sound goes”, paid Mr Berry about $400 on Sunday to install a new antenna.

Now the couple can resume a ritual of watching CSI from their bed.

For Mr and Mrs Jones, who also live in Young Street, television was much more.

“We are both invalids and we depend on television for news, to keep up with what’s going on,” Mrs Jones, 73, said.

Their signal stopped working last Monday and by Friday they had had enough.

So the pensioner couple paid $600 for a new antenna.

It means another bill at a time when they are paying for repairs to their airconditioning.

“It’s the wrong time — any time would be a wrong time,” Mrs Jones said.”

A spokeswoman said Roads and Maritime Services was investigating to ensure bypass work would not affect television reception.

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