ONE of Britain’s biggest telecoms companies has missed the opportunity to lay cables in part of Bradford on Avon for the next five years.

Virgin Media was due to start work last Thursday on installing ducting in Market Street and Masons Lane for telecommunications cables.

The plan was for Virgin Media to complete the work before Wiltshire Council undertakes much-needed carriageway reconstruction and road surfacing works on the main A363 route through the town.

But Virgin Media failed to start the work and Wiltshire Council said the firm has informed the authority it has no plans to lay any services in Bradford on Avon before 2019.

The Wiltshire Times has approached Virgin Media for an explanation and comment. As yet, it has failed to provide any.

However, the company’s failure to take advantage of the opportunity to work in Masons Lane and Market Street means it now cannot lay services in those areas for the next five years.

A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said: “We co-ordinated the major resurfacing scheme on Market Street, Silver Street and Masons Lane with Virgin Media to ensure our surfacing took place after they had finished their ducting work.

“This is because a Section 58 notice to protect the new surface will be in place to restrict non-essential work for the following five years.

“Virgin Media informed us there are no plans to lay any services in Bradford on Avon before 2019 but it now won’t be possible in this location until 2023.”

Workmen from contractors, C H Contracting, last night closed the B3107 in Silver Street from 7pm until 12 midnight so they could start work on the carriageway reconstruction and re-surfacing.

Once the work in Market Street and Masons Lane is complete the previous yellow hatchings in the narrow areas will not be returning as part of a planned experiment to see whether their absence improves traffic flow.

Market Street and Masons Lane will close for seven days from Monday, March 12 from 7am to 6pm. Diversion signs are in place.

Through traffic will be diverted via Trowbridge using the B3107, B3105, B3106 and A363 and vice versa.