LECHLADE mobile phone users have been cut off from the rest of the world for the past few weeks as Vodafone struggles to repair a faulty mast.

Vodafone customers in the riverside town have been left without any way to text or call their friends or family from their mobile phones.

Businesses have even lost clients, as many people struggling to get through just give up and go elsewhere.

One resident, Sue Young, is living alone while her husband is out of the country and has been left feeling nervous about security now that her phone has no signal.

"It's out of order really," she said. "It's really frustrating. All you can get is the emergency services. I'm on Pay as You Go but contract users must be steaming."

Mrs Young went on to say that she can only make a call through her mobile or send a text when she is outside of Lechlade.

Vodafone has apologised for the signal problems in the area and has said it is due to a fault on one of the mast's antennas.

Local business owner Jennie Rainsford said there has always been poor mobile phone signal in Lechlade but that for the past six weeks it has been particularly bad.

"It's a really rubbish ongoing problem," she said. "Businesses, particularly mobile businesses have been struggling as they rely on their mobiles to speak to clients. It's appalling."

Mobile business owner in the town Lizzie Fey has lost clients and money through the lack of signal and said she has found it maddening.

"It's really embarrassing saying to customers I'm having problems with Vodafone," said Lizzie, who runs pet boarding company Lizzie's Little Lodgers. "It's made me look really unprofessional. When I tried to cancel my contract they said I would have to pay £142.50.

"I've also had panics about my teenage children going out. I can't know where they are as they can't ring me."

A spokesman for Vodafone said: "We’re sorry some of our customers in Lechlade have experienced signal problems recently. One of our antennas on a local site has developed a fault and we need to fit a replacement part. This will require specialist engineers to climb the mast. We are working hard to get the site up and running as soon as possible."