Virgin set to bring cable to thousands more homes in Bradley Stoke

Mini-excavators digging trenches in pavements, which could soon become a familiar sight in Bradley Stoke.

Telecommunications company Virgin Media looks set to extend its cable network to thousands more homes in Bradley Stoke just months after BT completed a state-subsidised project to bring superfast broadband to more than 3,000 homes in the town.

The company is yet to make an official announcement, but information publicly available on the website shows that the firm has registered plans to lay several kilometres of ducting along streets in a number of areas in Bradley Stoke from 21st September (see list below).

Another sign that work might be about to start came when local MP Jack Lopresti tweeted (on 10th July) that he had “met with @virginmedia to discuss more investment in ultrafast broadband in Bradley Stoke”.

“Supercharged expansion”

The speculation is further supported by the news that several Journal readers who had previously registered an interest in having the Virgin Media cable network extended into their streets have recently received emails from the company informing them: “Your area is part of our supercharged expansion plans”. The messages promise that “ultrafast broadband speeds of up to 152Mbps” will be available once the work is carried out.

Until very recently, Virgin Media (and its forerunner Telewest) invested little in extending the coverage of its cable network, the bulk of which was installed in the 1990s, preferring instead to invest in upgrading technology to boost speeds for existing customers. However, a radical policy shift was revealed in February 2015 when the company announced ‘Project Lightning’, which has the aim of extending the Virgin network to four million additional premises over the next five years.

Virgin Media, owned by Liberty Global, will invest an extra £3bn in the project, mainly financed through borrowing. It will create 6,000 jobs and apprenticeships in what the company claims is the single largest investment in digital infrastructure in the UK for more than a decade.

On 22nd June, Virgin Media announced that Manchester would be the first city to benefit from Project Lightning, with an extra 150,000 premises in the city scheduled to benefit from ultrafast broadband for the first time.

When asked for a statement by The Journal, a Virgin media spokesperson would only say: “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.”

Advance plans shown on the website indicate that Virgin Media will be undertaking duct laying work in the following roads from 21st September:

  • Webbs Wood Road
  • Marjoram Place
  • Lavender Way
  • Juniper Way
  • Fennel Drive
  • Rosemary Close
  • Coriander Drive
  • Palmers Leaze
  • Kemperleye Way
  • Mautravers Close
  • Shiels Drive
  • Somerby Close
  • Garrett Drive
  • Blackthorn Drive
  • Penrose Drive
  • Fern Grove
  • Carter Walk
  • Jordan Walk
  • Savages Wood Road
  • Brook Way
  • The Beeches
  • The Willows
  • Manor Farm Crescent
  • Crofters Walk
  • Merryweather Close
  • Stoke Meadows
  • Dewfalls Drive
  • Winsbury Way
  • Wheatfield Drive
  • Harvest Close
  • Courtlands
  • Cornfield Close
  • Saxon Way
  • Oaktree Crescent
  • Stanshaws Close
  • Orchard Gate

Note 1: To see advance works on, select ‘Next 3 months’ and make sure ‘roadworks’ is selected in the ‘Customise my map’ panel.

Note 2: The presence of a road in the above list should not be taken as a guarantee that Virgin Media cable will be installed. Readers are advised to await a formal announcement from the company. In the meantime, you can register your interest online via:

Photo: Mini-excavators digging trenches in pavements, which could soon become a familiar sight in Bradley Stoke.

This article originally appeared in the August 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.


27th July: Journal reader Richard A reported that contractors began extending the Virgin Media ducting along Webbs Wood Road.

3rd August: Journal reader Richard A reported that contractors began extending the Virgin Media ducting into Juniper Way. updated to show 28th or 30th July as start date for some works on Webbs Wood Road.

Virgin Media roadworks on Webbs Wood Road, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Photo: Virgin Media roadworks on Webbs Wood Road. [Credit: Chris Kelly]

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  1. Isn’t it just so ironic (or just plain stupid!) that Virgin Media have waited until now, when all of Bradley Stoke now has superfast broadband, before deciding to extend its coverage?! If Virgin Media had had any business sense at all, they would have extended their coverage years ago and they would have absolutely cleaned up. With many Bradley Stoke households having no other company to turn to for superfast broadband (least of all BT), Virgin would have had the market to itself. They could have even charged a premium price and many households would have paid I suspect. Where were you when we needed you Virgin?!

    Now that the vast majority of households that want superfast broadband have it, I wonder how many will be interested in swapping to a different provider?
    Feels like Virgin really missed a trick.

  2. SteveD – a very good point.
    They are now digging out pavements to create trenches and although they put it back, they do this quite badly and the finished surface is uneven. I expect in a year or so it all willl start failing.

  3. Bit confused as to why the whole of the herbs seem to be included except Tarragon Place? I can’t wait to get rid of sky and BT, they charge an absolute fortune and Virgin is half the cost! Sky are rip off merchants. Agree with SteveD, they should have put the cables in years ago, they definitely would’ve cleaned up.

  4. Looks like they are planning further work in Bradley Stoke. Received an email today advising they are looking to bring cable to Champs Sur Marne. I can’t see anything on the website yet.

  5. Over the moon to be getting a service that is faster than dial up, (Which is all my broadband delivers.) but why dig up the roads? We laid ducting for cable/fibre optics twenty five years ago when we built the houses. We have been waiting for the upgrade ever since. It’s in there in grey 4inch and just needs someone to pull the cables through. Why Virgin or BT didn’t know that is beyond me as surely it’s shown in the plans.

  6. I think you’ll find that the grey ducting was laid by BT for their exclusive use.

    Green ducting was laid by Telewest / NTL for their cable, telephony and broadband systems and is now used by Virgin Media.

  7. @Rod – VM appear to be using the existing ducting (and blue draw rope) to cross roads where they can but are jointing to their own new green ducting along the pavements to the boundary of each property.

  8. What you have to remember there are over 200 homes still on Filton EO lines running at 1.5Mps … With SGC not honouring their aim of upgrade those with very slow speed which was Aim 1 on their current funding from BDUK due mainly to BT who runs the upgrade project not wanting to do it cos they won’t see and profit… On top of this BT won’t share their ducting with Virgin hence the road and footpaths having to be dug up.

    There is not point in raising The lack of Broadband with local MP Jack Lopresti due to the fact his office staff actively block access to appointments … I have tried 3 times and blocked every time..

    So all I can say is thank you Virgin … Well I hope they will Honour their commentment

  9. I would like to say that the following was written through gritted teeth!!

    Virgin, I’ll be having words with someone in your complaints department real soon! Driveway blocked by digger with no regard for access! Weren’t asked if this was ok! Wife asked was it going to be there all day as she was expecting her Mum & would need driveway access. She was then asked to move our other car for access to grass verge. She is on crutches!!
    The mother-in-law arrived to find the whole road blocked by the tarmac truck with no thought for residential access to about eight house!!

    Ive come home to find the road covered in mud, and a right mess of the grass verge, which i have maintained for over 14 years!!! Furious would be putting it mildly!!

    When the motorway work was being carried out residents recieved letter actually through our doors about the work!! I don’t even want or need virgin!!!

  10. Wow, James….. Do you have better things to do than moan? Firstly it wasn’t Virgin Media doing the construction its Virgin Media’s sub-contractors which are McNicholas… Good luck complaining to the Virgin Media department though *sigh* you maybe don’t want Virgin but your neighbours might.

    This project is a once in a lifetime opportunity… People in Bradley Stoke have been begging for Virgin Media cable network since 2010… I too was affected by their digger on my driveway & it was slightly annoying that I couldn’t get my car out, but as I have been one of those users campaigning for better broadband in the area, I was more than happy for them to build and block my driveway. McNicholas can’t keep everyone I’m afraid.

  11. Work started in Webbs Wood Road at the end of July, moving into Juniper Way soon after. Are they digging up your street yet? Please let us know, so we can set up a status page on the BSJ website.

  12. I agree with one of the earlier posters, Virgin should have done this a couple of years ago. I’m now signed up on an 18 month fibre broadband contract so won’t be switching any time soon.

    As for the diggers blocking drives, isn’t that an offence? I’d certainly be more than annoyed myself if I couldn’t get my car off my drive and hadn’t been warned in advance. And of course it’s Virgin’s responsibility, they may sub-contract but they’ll have been the ones that sought planning permission etc.

  13. The extension of Virgin Media’s cable network to thousands more homes in Bradley Stoke is well under way, but looks like taking longer than originally anticipated. Have the diggers moved into your road yet? Juniper Way, Fern Drive, Oaktree Crescent and Stanshaws Close (pictured) are the first roads to be done, but others where work was scheduled to start yesterday (21st September) may now not be done until November or December, according to the website.

  14. Being at the end of Virgin rollout plan my date has now moved to February 2016.. Just hope they don’t run out of money before then… Have just had a email back from SGC after a FOI request and it seems that Filton EO lines are getting the same level of priority as they have done of the last 2 years this is despite a clear aim in their funding request to BDUK. as expected BT are running the project and I believe BT planning will ensure max profit to BT this would also explain why area’s that already have other Fibre suppliers are now part of the current project plans

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