Edinburgh MP criticises broadband firm over disruption for residents during broadband roll-out

Edinburgh West Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine has criticised continuing disruption caused by CityFibre’s installation of new cables in the city and called on the contractor to act on residents’ frustrations.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 4:45 pm

She said issues raised included gardens being dug up and not restored, people falling into potholes and hazards created by debris left behind.

CityFibre is engaged in a five-year project to rollout a new £100m full-fibre network intended to make Edinburgh one of the best digitally connected cities in the country.

Ms Jardine, who met representatives of the company several months ago over residents’ concerns, said there has been no let-up in the problems associated with the works.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

One of CityFibre's sites in South Gyle Wynd
One of CityFibre's sites in South Gyle Wynd

She said: “You have to see the mess that has been created and left in some areas to believe it. I was shocked recently at the state of a stretch of footpath in South Gyle where the pink plastic barriers and piles of abandoned sand made it difficult to negotiate even the area that walker were diverted to.

“And everywhere you go in Edinburgh West at the moment you seem to come across abandoned barriers, cones and potholes with nobody in sight.”

She said she had tripped on a pothole herself in South Gyle. She claimed another woman had sprained her ankle.

The company is operating at many different sites. Ms Jardine said Carrick Knowe was the latest place to be dug up this week.

Barriers blown over at a CityFibre site

“We all appreciate that this will make a significant different to broadband services once its finished but I really think that CityFibre need to take into account the disruption and inconvenience that is being caused just now, and do something about it.

“They had an endorsements from the Scottish Government and the First Minister before the project was launched started but the reports I am getting now from my constituents are less than glowing.

“I will be asking for another meeting with the company who, to be fair, promised action the last time but I think it would go a long way to repairing relations with constituents of they could see a response from the company.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.