Superfast broadband works cause gas pipe drama in Milton Keynes

Workers installing cable for superfast broadband caused chaos when they damaged a gas pipe in Milton Keynes.

The damage during the incident in Broughton resulted in a fire, and Newport Road had to be closed for much of Friday between Fen Street and White Star Close.

Cityfibre is laying cable all over MK

Cityfibre is laying cable all over MK

There were no reported injuries and emergency services and gas engineers were quickly at the scene to deal with the issue.

But the power supply had to be turned off while repairs were carried out, and nearby residents were without electricity for several hours.

A council spokesman said: “The electricity supply has had to be turned off so that the incident area where the repair crews are working is safe for both residents and the engineers.”

MK Council has now confirmed that the excavation work was being carried out by CityFibre, the company laying miles of cable as part of a £40m rollout of a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network throughout MK.

Days before the gas incident, MK Council had issued an official red warning to CityFibre due to the level of public complaints being received about installation works.

Moans about the mess caused by digging work are forming around one third of all the complaints received by the council each week.

CityFibre has 23 teams in the city and this amount of work is “requiring a significant MK Council resource to “respond to complaints, inspect complaints and provide adhoc supervision to ensure the scope, work quality and safety standards are being met.”

Meetings have been held with CityFibre, but council officer say their inspections "continue to highlight poor practise and increased complaints.”

CityFibre is installing between 70 and100 metres of cable for each of its teams each day.