Broadband work is ‘destroying island’

RESIDENTS spoke of their fury after workmen destroyed roads and footpaths while installing new internet cables. Angry homeowners have accused Virgin Media engineers of dumping concrete on their driveways while installing broadband equipment in Labworth Road, Atherstone Road and Beach House Gardens, Canvey1. Some parked cars have even allegedly been left covered in dust and dirt.

Martin Richardson, 51, of Labworth Road, has called for repairs to carried out on damaged roads, grass verges and footpaths. He said: “These workmen are destroying the island. Some people even found lumps of concrete dumped on their driveways and concrete dust covering their cars.

“I spoke to one women who could not access her driveway because workers had blocked it off with barriers while they carried out works and had left the barriers across her driveway.”

The two-week project finished nearly a fortnight ago – but the mess remains. Brian Baldwin, 71, of Beach House Gardens, said: “I think that Virgin Media should have replaced the roads, footpaths and verges so that they were in the same condition as before.

“They have just chopped the roads about to allow them to put their internet cables and equipment in.”

A Virgin Media spokesman apologised for the disruption. He said: “Virgin Media is currently expanding its network in Canvey to bring ultrafast broadband speeds to more homes and businesses in the area.

As we do so, we endeavour to minimise disruption and are working with our contractors to ensure that work is carried out with professionalism and at the highest standard. We apologise to residents for any inconvenience we may have caused and are working to resolve their concerns.”

A spokesman for Essex Highways said the superfast broadband project is ongoing. He added: “Essex Highways inspectors monitor the work almost every day to ensure that Virgin complies with legal standards.

The roads and pavements must be left in a good state, and if our inspectors determine that there is further work needed to reach that standard, then that must be done and paid for by Virgin Media.”


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