‘Give us one day of rest’ from broadband works pleads Buckingham councillor

A Buckingham resident is complaining of noise and disruption seven days a week from works to install fibre broadband on Page Hill.

By Hannah Richardson
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 12:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th August 2022, 12:59 pm

Mark Cole unleashed a torrent of comments from other residents after he posted on Facebook on Sunday, July 31: “For the second successive Sunday we have today noise and disruption from Swish broadband contractors here on Page Hill, with high-speed cutting and tamping machines running from 09.00 and trucks blocking cars."This is totally unacceptable on a Sunday, which should be a day of rest, when we should not be subjected to this after two weeks of continuous work, and I have already had complaints from residents this morning."

Mark, who live in Nightingale Close, told the Bucks Herald: “They’ve been working here on page Hill in Buckingham for the last couple of months. Gigaclear started it perhaps the end of May, digging up streets, pavements, roads.

"And at last they finished and we gave a huge sigh of relief. And then another company, Swish, came along and started doing it all again, and started digging separate trenches. Absolutely no joined-up thinking at all.”

Fibre broadband installation work on Page Hill, Buckingham

“There are even rumours on Facebook that now even a third company wants to come along."

Mark added: “While we accept that they have to do the work, we understood quite early on, having it on Sundays was just a no-no

“Because the noise and the dust and the diesel fumes, particularly last Sunday when it was very hot, were horrendous.

"Everyone had to have their doors and windows shut.”

Mark, who is a Buckingham town councillor, added: “I’ve had neighbours phoning me and knocking on my door, as the ward councillor for this area, saying this is unacceptable, but there’s nothing we can do to stop it

“I contacted our three Buckinghamshire ward councillors but I haven’t heard anything back.

“The problem was, it’s the second Sunday in a row it’s happened. It was in all the roads behind us last Sunday, which still affects us because it’s quite a close-knit community, Page Hill.

"Sunday lunchtime they had all the drills going and power equipment, it’s like listening to a chainsaw and we had that going on eight hours a day. That’s the sort of noise it is, it’s really, really intrusive.

“The second Sunday running, I’d just had enough so I just put the thing on Facebook saying neighbours are complaining to me about this, hoping it might get through to the company.

“We’re looking at towards three months of this disruption now.

“It’s the mornings that are the worst part. I’m not going to blame the contractors - they’re friendly, they’re helpful, they make sure people can still get their cars out and don’t block people in. It’s just the continual noise, that’s what’s so bad.

“What started off having a whinge on Sunday morning turned into a massive Facebook thing. I was just really doing it to reassure all our neighbours that I was doing my bit as the ward town councillor.

“All we’re asking really is, please don’t work on Sundays. We understand you’ve got to do the work but give us a break, one day of rest."

Peter Martin, deputy cabinet member for transport at Buckinghamshire Council, said: “We are sorry to hear that residents have been disturbed by these works.

"We co-ordinate works on the highway for the normal working hours of Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 8am to 1pm.

"No works should be carried out on a Sunday unless they are for emergencies.

"If the contractor is working outside these times, they are doing so without prior consent from the council. We are progressing this matter with Swish Fibre to ensure their works only take place during the permitted times.”

Swish Fibre Ltd has been approached for comment.