Contractors working for Virgin Media have laid hundreds of metres of cable ducting along streets in Bradley Stoke over the last two months (as predicted in our August magazine), but the telecoms giant is still refusing to publicly confirm that the work is part of a massive expansion of its cable network to reach thousands more homes in the town.
The first sign that a significant expansion of the network was being planned came in June when the roadworks.org website showed that Virgin had registered plans to lay several kilometres of ducting in over 30 Bradley Stoke streets from 21st September. In the event, work actually got under way somewhat earlier, with Journal readers reporting that trenching work and duct laying started in Webbs Wood Road on 27th July.
The work soon extended into Juniper and Fennel Drive, where it is still continuing, and paint markings on roads and pavements suggest that Lavender Way is likely to follow soon.
Work has also been under way for several weeks in Oaktree Crescent and Stanshaws Close, and began in Cornfield Close and Courtlands in late September.
However, the projected start dates for work in the other 30 or so roads identified by entries on roadworks.org have now variously slipped to October through November.
It is thought that it is likely to be some months before residents in the newly-cabled streets will be able to place orders for Virgin Media’s broadband and TV services, but the company is inviting people to register an interest via its website and will contact them when the system goes live.
The Journal has pressed Virgin Media for a updated statement, but nothing has been forthcoming since the end of July, when a spokesperson told us: “We are currently considering a number of areas for our expansion plans, including Bradley Stoke, but we are unable to provide any further details at this stage.”
The work already under way has not been without problems, with several readers taking to our website and Facebook page to complain about inconsiderate behaviour by the contractors and streets being left in an untidy state after the work has been completed.
Comments on Facebook
Daniel E: Had them in my road a week or so ago and they decided to just chuck all their c**p, tools and pipes all over my front yard for a couple of days without even asking.
Katie W: They did the same to me, so called the number of one of the vans and within 20 mins had some one come round then an hour or so later had someone from Virgin come and say sorry. They seem to think most bits of land are council!
Mark P: [They started in] Juniper way two weeks ago and still not finished!! Holes and barriers everywhere! #dangerous
Lorna P: They have left quite a mess in parts of Juniper Way. Certainly haven’t left it as they found it! And blocked the roads on more than one occasion so bin lorries couldn’t access our cul-de-sac #notahappybunny
Lisa F-A: I’m in Oaktree Crescent. They have been here well over four weeks. They’ve dug up the ground outside my house more than once now. Damaged my fence, caused me to kerb my car with their disgraceful driving and many times I have not been able to get on or off my drive for the school run as they are in the way!
For the latest news and information, visit our Virgin Media Network Extension page.
This article originally appeared in the October 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.
POSTSCRIPT: A Journal reader reports that Virgin Media’s contractors started work in Lavender Way on 5th October.
Photos: (1) Virgin Media trenching work in Stanshaws Close (early September). (2) Newly-installed Virgin Media street cabinet in Courtlands (late September).
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