CABLE operator NTL has stressed its services will be safe despite filing for bankruptcy protection in the USA.

NTL, which has its UK headquarters in Hook, made the move as it pressed ahead with its recovery plans.

It will now work with its bondholders and banks on a financial restructuring plan in a bid to slash its crippling £12billion debt.

The company hopes to emerge later this year as two separate businesses, one focused on the UK and Ireland and the other on Europe.

The Chapter 11 filing was made last week when it announced its banks had approved its restructuring plans.

A spokesman for NTL pledged last week: "Trade creditors, suppliers and employees will continue to be paid in the ordinary course of business."

NTL has almost three million subscribers in the UK and stressed its TV, telephone and internet services would not be interrupted.