Virgin Media apologises after residents vent fury at installation work

Virgin Media has apologised ‘for any inconvenience’ after residents vented fury over installation work.

Residents angry after work carried out by Virgin Media

Virgin Media has apologised ‘for any inconvenience’ after residents vented fury over installation work. The broadband supplier has employed contractors to install the latest high speed network into the area but faced a backlash from residents.Complaints flooded social media as roads and pavements were dug up and some residents felt trapped in their homes.A disabled resident in one estate has been left with a large hole at the only available exit from her home, with just a board across it. Another spoke of one resident with cancer who had to be lifted over a garden fence as she was unable to exit her property.A Craigavon mother told of workmen having dug holes around her car and she was unable to collect her children from school.Peter Toland, Chairman of Meadowbrook Residents Association, said: “The place is a mess. One woman had to get her mobility scooter lifted over a fence because of a trench outside her home.“People were not properly notified of this work and the way they have left the estate is disgraceful. “There is still a portaloo in the estate which at one stage was knocked over.”Both the SDLP’s Cllr Thomas Larkham and Sinn Fein’s Cllr Catherine Nelson have spoken of a huge volume of complaints regarding the work.Cllr Larkham, who said the complaints ranged from the Clonmeen, Westacres areas to the Pinebank, Gilpinstown, Drumbeg, and Meadowbrook estates, said the main bones of contention were the lack of communication with residents before work starts and the state of the pavements and roads after the work is finished.“I have had a number of residents from different estates contact me regarding installation works by contractors on behalf of Virgin Media. He added: “I have contacted the contractor in question and requested an urgent meeting to address these concerns,” he said.Sinn Féin Councillor Catherine Nelson also criticised Virgin Media for the condition they left estates throughout the Craigavon area.She said: “Residents are rightly outraged at the condition Virgin Media have left estates throughout the Craigavon area.“Upon visiting Drumbeg and Meadowbrook over the weekend I share their concerns and have grave safety concerns upon seeing the equipment lying haphazardly on paths and at exits and entrances to peoples homes - including the elderly and the disabled.”“I have been in touch with Virgin Media requesting immediate action and will meet with them along with community representatives in the coming days.”A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “Virgin Media is in the process of expanding its network in Craigavon which will bring the UK’s fastest widely broadband speeds to local residents and businesses. “All homes and businesses have been notified of our expansion works in advance. We also have a local community liaison officer in the area and we hold pop up events to provide information. “With regards to the condition of pathways and roads, this is monitored by DFI Roads and any remedial work required will be completed before we leave the area. We also provide regular updates to Councillors and are in contact with the two Councillors in question about our expansion works. We have offered to meet them directly to discuss their concerns.“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to local residents.”Background - Virgin Media is carrying out ultrafast broadband expansion works in Craigavon, bringing the UK’s fastest widely available speeds to the area, along with giving residents an increased choice of broadband, TV and phone provider. - We aim to ensure that our work is up to the high standards expected by DFI Roads and comply with all statutory requirements. We will put right any issues before we leave an area and our work is inspected by DFI Roads. We provide a two year guarantee period on our work and will return to fix any issues during this period.- We always letter drop homes and businesses in advance of our expansion works starting - Any residents or business owners that have questions about any of our expansion works, can call 0333 000 5925 or email [email protected]

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Residents angry after work carried out by Virgin Media
Community worker Pete Toland says footpaths left in poor state