RESIDENTS in Chippenham have complained about Virgin Media broadband cabling works taking place in their streets.

The work to install ultrafast fibre-optic broadband and TV cabling has meant some locals in Orchard Road and Westminster Gardens have been unable to get their cars out of their driveways.

Former civil servant Tim Pratt, 66, says he tried to contact Virgin Media about the trenches being dug all along Orchard Road to ask when the work would be finished.

He said: “They notified us in late November they would be working to lay the cables but they didn’t start work until the first week in December.

“It has been very haphazard. They have been digging up the pavements all over the place and it is taking a lot longer than promised.

“A couple of residents in my road have just paid out £2,000 to have the kerbs lowered to access their driveways and they have dug straight across.

“On the corner of Orchard Road and Westminster Gardens, they even trapped my friend Rodney’s car in his drive. He was not able to get his car off his driveway. By the time they had finished it had been going on for two days.”

Mr Pratt, 66. of Orchard Road, said he had complained to Chippenham Town Council, only to be told it was not their responsibility.

“I have also contacted Wiltshire Council. I am annoyed that we have had little or no information about how long it is going to take.

“There has been a complete lack of information from the council on what is going on.”

In a letter to all residents, Virgin Media said: “Over the next few weeks we will be working hard to bring ultrafast fibre and tv to your street.

“The work to lay cables and install cabinets is a key part of our commitment to bring Virgin Fibre and Virgin TV to more homes than ever.

“We will do everything we can to minimise disruption as we dig trenches, install our cables and put up temporary safety barriers on footpaths.

“On the day we actually pass your property there might be limited access between 8am and 6pm. Our contractors may also ask you to move your car if it’s parked close to where we are working.”

Mr Pratt, who has lived in Orchard Road since 1981, added: “I have spoken to a lot of people up and down the road and I have yet to find anybody who wants it.”

The grandfather of four said the first Virgin Media contractors crew to work on the scheme had dug holes and trenches all over the place.

“It was just like an assault course or a patchwork quilt for the first two weeks. There was no flow to what they were doing.

“Since January, a new crew has started work and they seem to be getting on better but I just can’t understand why they are taking so long to complete the job.”

The works in Orchard Road now seems to be largely completed but in nearby Westminster Gardens it’s a different story.

Residents living there now have trenches, holes and safety barriers outside their driveways, as well as a Virgin Media compound for storing cables in an area they previously used to turn their vehicles.

Parking in the road is now at a premium and some residents have had their driveways blocked.

One Westminster Gardens resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “The contractors have not been here long and the only hassle we’ve had is when they shut off the alleyway and people were walking across my garden to get around the trenches.

“It is inconvenient because we were not told about it. One of their lorries blocked the road when it came to take all their stuff away.”

Another resident, Lewis Williams, 20, said: “The only issue is that they did not ask me to get my car off the drive before they started digging. I had to ask them to stop so I could move it.”

But other residents said the contractors had been helpful to residents.

One woman, who also declined to give her name, said: “ The men are being really kind and helpful. I am sure they are doing all they can to minimise the disruption.”