MKJ and our streets.

Rosemary Bennett
👍 5

Thu 4 Mar, 09:42 (last edited on Thu 4 Mar, 10:53)

Having read previous comments started months ago and continuing, I hope that everyone who can is taking photos of the resultant damage for  any future settlement claim that might arise, later on. I think our house will be falling down by the time all this has finished, our frontage is not sufficiently robust for all this tonnage. The wheels of the dumper and the drilling thing are literally going over our front doorstep, and how the tar laying truck will be squeezed in here is anybody’s guess. We don’t have pavements in front of our cottages.

Incidentally, I am very surprised that the operators are not always wearing ear defenders.

Gareth Epps
👍 3

Thu 4 Mar, 07:30

I couldn’t believe it when I saw Gigaclear door to door salespeople wearing hiviz proclaiming, falsely, that they were “key workers”.

I’m still working with my existing provider to try and find out if they will get access to the cables, or if the damage to streets and verges has been done solely to support a private monopoly.  Certainly our experience of the last few months makes me want to not give Gigaclear a penny.

Charlie M
👍 3

Wed 3 Mar, 22:49

Amanda, they will not be getting *my* custom.

Not in a million years.

Amanda Epps
👍 3

Wed 3 Mar, 22:12

So it is being suggested that residents reward Gigaclear for the mess and inconvenience they have caused. 
And is it legal for them to be touting for custom from door to door?

Hannen Beith
👍 1

Fri 6 Nov 2020, 14:03

So the nightmare continues.

All week we've had trucks, dumper trucks, vans, going back and forth outside our cottage.

It's like living on a construction site.  

I wish someone would have told me that we were going to be subjected to this noise and disturbance for months on end.  I might have booked a year long break at Barnard Castle.

Today I had to ask the driver of a lorry parked right outside our house when he might turn the engine off and move on.  Apart from the noise, the diesel fumes were seeping into the house and making me feel ill.  They'd been there an hour, sitting in the cab.  Not sure what that's going to achieve.  Anyway, he did turn the engine off.  Sometimes people just aren't aware.

I wonder if they get paid for doing nothing?

Perhaps they might think about moving their site office away from such close proximity to residents.

As for helping people across roads, I hope they have 2 metre long arms.  None of them wear masks.

"...there's always something going on in Charlbury."

There certainly is!

Tim at Cotswold Frames
👍 1

Tue 3 Nov 2020, 21:45 (last edited on Tue 3 Nov 2020, 22:38)

Don't think it will be much use going to higher people to get any answers as on the

19th oct I was reminded by Leah who said "As Richard says why don't you contact them and ask? " so I did and heard absolutely nothing from my query Liz answered my question which was great so if I were you ask Liz as the top people or rather their  query desk at gigaclear is about as useless as a chocolate fireguard.

Oh and watch out on those paving blocks they have laid cables under as they stick out too high especially down by the church post box side.

Hannen Beith
👍 1

Tue 3 Nov 2020, 21:38

I just want to know when it will all end.

I have nothing "against" the operatives, and yes, I have been there, albeit as a student worker.

It's little wonder that the country is in such a mess when the most basic inconveniences fail to be comprehended.

Anyway, a good friend of mine in Charlbury, has suggested noise cancelling headphones, which I have ordered.  I wonder if MKJ will reimburse? 

Leah Fowler
👍 2

Tue 3 Nov 2020, 20:48

When we needed to cross the work in Church Street today to get into the churchyard one of the men came and took my husband's arm to make sure he was safe.

Mark Sulik
👍 4

Tue 3 Nov 2020, 19:45

The works on Dyers Hill have been undertaken well and with limited disruption.

The operatives have been very polite and mindful of access requirements and have enjoyed conversation and answered any questions.

We have provided them with coffee in the morning and Tea in the afternoon - undertaking the tasks they have been employed to do as a sub contractor- 

Perhaps direct dialogue with people and a bit of mutual respect towards people who work hard, travel long distances from their homes. 

Damage to our roads and pavements is in keeping with the rest of the roads, pavements before they started the works and perhaps when the works are finished, the defects and snagging has been complete and assumed approved by the local authority who must sign off and hand over that the works are to an acceptable standard.

Don't shoot the messengers - aim higher if this is something that can be altered or local Councillors as the point to direct frustrations ?

Hannen Beith
👍 2

Tue 3 Nov 2020, 13:55

Thanks Geoff,

We are in the "firing line" here at Fiveways and with lockdown as well I think I'm losing the will to live.  Metaphorically!

I work from home as I am enjoined to by the Government, so I suppose that I deserve "unconditional praise".  

But it's jolly hard when every weekday there are operatives banging around and driving outside.

Aren't there environmental controls?  I suppose not.  And no recourse to a democratic solution.  As I understand it.  I may be wrong. 

Geoff Belcher
👍 5

Tue 3 Nov 2020, 13:45

The next year should see them gone with luck!!!!!

I think they have done a difficult job very well its never easy digging up pavements and what ever as every one seems to know how to do it better, just try

Hannen Beith
👍 1

Tue 3 Nov 2020, 13:30

Can anyone tell me when MKJ are going to leave us in peace?  Thank you.

stephen cavell
👍 9

Thu 29 Oct 2020, 07:57

Russ - pleased to note that your positive experience of MKJ matches mine. Whilst the 4 way traffic lights were on the Enstone X roads and covering our drive way I had to get an ambulance up to our apartments - albeit not an emergency; the tarmac lorry and trench digger were in similar active mode across the front of the drive. A polite request was dealt with in a similar manner. Full marks to MKJ.  To Hannen all I can say is that in my experience of life all sorts of people are MEANT to do all sorts of things but they don't always. So when it does happen unconditional praise is deserved.

Hannen Beith
👍 1

Wed 28 Oct 2020, 23:25

I admire all that the emergency services, and ancillaries do.  I wouldn't and couldn't.

However, I think that to "praise" MKJ for getting out of the way, whilst laudable, is to overlook the fact that they are obliged to, by law.

See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-emergency-workers-obstruction-act-2006 

So yes, good for them, but they had to, or the company would have faced prosecution.

Russell Ingham
👍 11

Wed 28 Oct 2020, 19:57

Further to Harriet's point - This afternoon as a Community First Responder for the ambulance service I was called out to a serious 999 incident. MKJ were working directly opposite my house; to the right was a lorry tipping asphalt to the left was a "mini-digger" clearing a trench directly across Hixet Wood.  I shouted - it took about 90 seconds for the nearest worker to stop the work, organise 2 lots of ramps and to clear the digger. The ambulance data log shows that I was mobile (downhill) within 3 minutes of the call. I for one was impressed.

Harriet Baldwin
👍 1

Thu 22 Oct 2020, 19:49

She should have asked them to move the lorry, they'd have either done so immediately or asked her to wait a couple of minutes as I saw them doing to a supermarket delivery van trying to get into mill lane on Tuesday.

Hannen Beith
👍

Thu 22 Oct 2020, 19:21

Thanks both. Helpful. 
Harriet, agree, but my neighbour had a choice of driving into a lorry, or a big pile of rubble. 
Absolutely no way a car could get through. Perhaps a tank. 

Richard Fairhurst
(site admin)
👍 2

Thu 22 Oct 2020, 19:16 (last edited on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 19:16)

Hannen, what BT offer you is Fibre To The Cabinet broadband (FTTC), which means that it's lovely and fast as far as the communal green box, but then has to squeeze into the slow old copper cables for the last lap to your house. Plenty of people in Charlbury have this already.

Gigaclear supply Fibre To The Premises broadband (FTTP), which is fast all the way to your router.

Harriet Baldwin
👍 3

Thu 22 Oct 2020, 19:08

Hannen the signs usually say closed except for access, if you drive down wanting to get into a house they'll let you and they can't prevent access for emergency vehicles. Maybe they're expecting a level of common sense which seems to be lacking?

Hannen Beith
👍

Thu 22 Oct 2020, 18:48 (last edited on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 18:52)

Well, I'd love to be enlightened, I mean that sincerely.

I've just 'phoned (sic) BT who tell me that I can have fibre optic broadband within a week if I want to pay for it.  I don't, because the internet speed here from BT is so good that we can run two desktops and some wi fi off it and in addition have BT TV.

Of more immediate concern to me is (admittedly selfishly) the disruption caused to the town by this work.  As an example, a distraught lady of a certain age, parked outside this morning having been shopping for groceries and found that she couldn't gain access to her home because Hixet Wood was closed in both directions.  Now what can I do about that?

Don't Gigaclear, or whoever, supervisors/project managers have any sense or empathy?

So, yes, I'm all for keeping a sense of perspective.  For the whole community please.

I do indeed wish it will be soon be over, but looking at the road closure permits, it won't be until March 2021.

I suppose it depends on your interpretation of "soon".

Neil V.
👍 3

Thu 22 Oct 2020, 17:46

I think Simon’s point is there are far more important issues to address in the world (and the community) than a few temporary diversions caused by the installation of a piece of new infrastructure. The short term inconvenience will pass, the pavements will weather, the fibre broadband will be there for those that want or need it, but the food banks will, sadly, probably remain. So i guess a little perspective is all that’s asked. It will soon be over.

Hannen Beith
👍 3

Thu 22 Oct 2020, 13:06

We didn't ask for it, and if you want it (I don't) you will have to pay for it.  It's not a gift, it's a commercial enterprise.  

I don't understand the comparison with foodbanks, but that might just be me.

Simon Hogg
👍 3

Wed 21 Oct 2020, 21:30

Crikey, we are getting fibre broadband yet many people are depending on foodbanks in the UK, put things in perspective please.

Tim at Cotswold Frames
👍 1

Wed 21 Oct 2020, 16:52

Thanks Liz for the update

Angus B
👍 3

Wed 21 Oct 2020, 14:50

 I must say that it does seem shortsighted to close Dancers Hill and Hixet Wood simultaneously.

Charlie M
👍 1

Wed 21 Oct 2020, 14:18

I see that Dancers Hill is now closed as well, meaning that those on the Eastern side of the town need to use the "Ring Road" to get to the Town Centre. Crazy!

Liz Leffman
👍 4

Wed 21 Oct 2020, 13:01

Just to reassure everyone, no work is planned for Market Street until well into the New Year. There will be no work happening between December 11th and the second week of January anywhere in the town

Liz Leffman
👍 4

Wed 21 Oct 2020, 09:18

I will ask, Tim, but this would require Gigaclear and MKJ to change their work schedule and that may not be possible.

Tim at Cotswold Frames
👍 2

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 23:04

Thanks Liz 

Just hope it's not closed during the run up to Christmas especially with the year everyone's had, it's bad enough for sheep st being closed for that period that's been allocated, would of been better for any centre of town streets not to be closed during a crucial time of year so please if you can influence the decision and would be even better if you were able to postpone sheep st to new year as well.

It's a shame that these closures were not better thought out and let the out of town centre streets be done at this busy time of year, I presume its gigaclear that decides what to apply for and when but surely it's the county council that should use a bit of foresight into possible problems and grant these closures at more suitable times of the year, so please do what you can to help all those affected

Many  thanks 

Liz Leffman
👍 4

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 14:22 (last edited on Tue 20 Oct 2020, 14:30)

Tim, permission to close Sheep St from mid November to December 11th has been issued. I haven't seen anything for Market St but will check what is planned. All the other road closure permissions that I have seen are for Jan to March next year. These are for Park St, Fishers Lane, Pooles Lane and the Playing Close.

Tim at Cotswold Frames
👍

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 14:12

Well I did email about when they will be at the town centre yesterday so I await an answer this morning while out for a walk I was out Cornbury end of park st where the blokes were putting in cable outside the old  grammar school and asked when they will be at the town centre and was told they reach bottom of park st then it's stop while they arrange for road closures for the centre god knows when this will be and won't be any good for the town shops whenever they come through.

Hannen Beith
👍 1

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 13:13

I understand what you say Emily but as I have said before, I don't think most people have any problem with the operatives.  I have spoken with them myself and they are polite and courteous.  I don't envy them doing a hard job in deteriorating weather, and probably being paid very little.

The problems are further up the chain, with OCC and Gigaclear.

I asked OCC for a copy of the permit.  My email wasn't even acknowledged.

I asked Gigaclear for an outline of their intentions.  Again, nothing.

What frustrates me is that there seems to be no accountability.

Emily Algar
👍 7

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 12:06

Unpopular opinion, but has anyone actually gone out and spoken to the men working for MKJ?

They have been working on Hundley Way since last Tuesday and the first thing myself and another resident did was to introduce ourselves and try and come to an agreement regarding the work; where they would be digging, replacing as they found it etc. They listened and have been really thoughtful and efficient throughout.

Yes, it is messy but then digging anything up, especially during the autumn is going to be messy and yes, inconvenient at times also, but the men working on Hundley Way specifically have gone out of their way to not get in our way. At one point, one of them carried our dog over our stone stile at the bottom of our garden and helped me across the trench they were digging. I can't see the Council ever being that nice!

I would really suggest, if you haven't already, going out and actually speaking to them and voicing your concerns. Fair enough if you've done that and they still are being difficult, then contact MJK or Gigaclear. Though I have personally found the former to be a lot clued up on what has been happening in Charlbury.

Obviously I can only speak to my experience.

Rod Evans
👍 2

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 10:12

And today they have blocked vehicle access to Mill Lane where I thought they had finished.  I can see the work has to be done but poorly managed and with no notice.  GRRR!

stephen cavell
👍 1

Tue 20 Oct 2020, 07:17

Pavements - patchwork quilts - lets re-invent HOPSCOTCH

Gareth Epps
👍 3

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 21:39

Not only is it a commercial contract - it appears to be a commercial monopoly, as Gigaclear refuses access to other broadband providers (in my case - I have checked), or charges a huge premium.

And whereas mere failure to restore pavements is annoying, and turning flowerbeds into piles of rubble rude, causing hazards to pushchairs, wheelchairs and the like is unacceptable.

Christine Battersby
👍 3

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 21:08

But this was a commercial contract, not funded by OCC, WODC or by the Town Council.

If Gigaclear thought it was worth doing, then they ought to restore the pavements, roads and verges as they promised to do in undertaking the work.

James Styring
👍 3

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 19:52

John H is right. My daughter, who has just turned 9, has been complaining about the patchwork quilt along the pavements. However, it isn't the first time and it won't be the last, that Charlbury – the same as a hundred thousand urban areas around the country – will be dug up for utilities. Presumably the council staff who sign the contracts with utilities providers either cannot or will not (£) stipulate that entire pavements are removed and then reinstated, nice as that might be. (Though think of the disruption, Hannen!) Over time the ribbons along pavements will, no doubt, acquire the same dirty hue as the original pavements.

My daughter is now, at least, equipped with the phrase "first world problem".

john h
👍 9

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 14:36 (last edited on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 14:37)

Can you imagine the extra cost if the contractors had to "colour match"the pavements , as some residents would like. C'mon Charlbury is not Utopia!!, I have survived here for nearly 80 yrs, grand place to live, regardless of the multicoloured pavements. Do we not have more pressing matters in our lives at the moment?. John H

Gareth Epps
👍 1

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 13:53

The benefit of a forum such as this is that people can highlight the areas where MKJ has done the job well or less well, so Liz and highway officers know where to focus.  People will have already raised issues direct.

It seems that they have restored some areas fairly well, and some considerably less so.

Leah Fowler
👍

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 13:19

As Richard says why don't you contact them and ask?

Tim at Cotswold Frames
👍 1

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 13:09

Does anyone know when they are coming through the town center ? as I would hate it to be here during the Christmas period.  

Richard Fairhurst
(site admin)
👍 1

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 12:36

Do remember too that there is a direct email address you can use to contact Gigaclear with any concerns: networkbuildcare@gigaclear.com

The colouring on pavements was expressly brought to Gigaclear’s notice before the work began (because we’ve had issues with this with utility contractors before).

Liz Leffman
👍 4

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 12:11

As Carl has pointed out, this is a work in progress.  The OCC inspection will happen once the work is completed and any remedial work will then be done. I am meeting a manager from Gigaclear on Wednesday.  If there is somewhere specific that you think needs to be dealt with now please message me, and I will bring it up with him.

Alan Colgan
👍 1

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 11:33

I have to agree with the last post.

If we want this work to be done to our satisfaction, then we need to exert pressure on the decision makers, Oxfordshire County Council.  The more complaints the council receives, the greater the chance it will take action.

In a situation like this, where we are ultimately relying on someone else to make something happen, it’s safer to assume that nobody outside of our town cares as much as we do. We are likely to get one decent shot at this and we have to make it count, so please register your complaint to the council, as per my original post and tell your friends and neighbours to do the same.

stephen cavell
👍 1

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 10:45 (last edited on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 10:46)

As I understand the explanations given by our various councilors on the several threads relating to Gigaclear & MKJ; Gigaclear & MKJ are answerable to OCC not to comments on this forum.

Leah Fowler
👍

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 09:47 (last edited on Mon 19 Oct 2020, 09:49)

Time this was moved to debate 

Arguing or complaining!  

Carl A Perkins
👍 2

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 09:08

The Tarmac sections I've seen have 'Temp' sprayed on them in white paint which to me indicates that they are a temporary feature to the works. These guys are working their way through Charlbury safely and efficiently, (and quite quickly)... At least give them a chance to finish the works before criticising them. You will probably find that a different team of workers will come through doing the restoration works

Charlie M
👍 2

Mon 19 Oct 2020, 07:53

At the end of the day, as Alan Colgan first said (and others have followed), it is about the town, and the way it looks, bith to those who live here and to those who pass through it. In some cases, what were newly-resurfaced pavements have been left with the "MKJ Scar", and in my view should be completely resufaced and restored to how they were.

I suggest that an invitation be extended to this MKJ lot to subscribe to the forum, and in particular to this thread, which we can - maybe - use as a means of reporting defects in their pavement restoration process. 

I will start it off: there is a square foot or so at the entrance from Woodfield Drive onto the little green adjacent to Narrow Lane that has just been filled in with rubble and left; it needs repairing properly.

Deanna Cutting
👍 2

Sun 18 Oct 2020, 23:44

And talking of Ticknell Piece, are MKJ going to come back to finish the job? The roads & pavements were dug up & refilled, all over the estate, but they finished the work at number 126, packed up & moved on to another area of the town. It seems they've left the homes from 95 to 142 out of equation. Is this little corner of the town not to be given the chance of faster Broadband? 

christopher edeson
👍 2

Sun 18 Oct 2020, 19:01

The state they have left our part of ticknell piece is a joke. They have ruined multiple front gardens and also the state of the brick paved road is terrible, it’s already sinking where they haven’t re-laid it properly. 

Claire Wilding
👍 1

Sat 17 Oct 2020, 19:08

I completely agree and I would add it's not just the pavements it's also the way the green boxes have been placed with seemingly no consideration for the way they detract from the appearance of the town. 

Christine Battersby
👍 1

Sat 17 Oct 2020, 19:08

I really hope that the pavements will be properly restored, as they are really unsightly at present.

I am assuming this is a temporary measure, and that it was done like this because of speed. I hope that Charlbury Town Council will ensure that proper restoration is done once all the work is completed.  

Gigaclear/MKJ have certainly not kept to the stated intention of notifying affected residents five days before work starts on a particular road. Where I live, it was more like 5 minutes notice. The workmen themselves were really helpful and considerate, but they had not been informed that notice was supposed to have been given.

I also realised too late that MKJ are simply digging through tree roots when these are in the way of a straight line. In the case of a large ash tree, huge lumps of root were simply removed. In London and other urban places they were required to tunnel underneath the roots. I do hope that this does not make our trees unstable in future gales. 

Jean Adams
👍 4

Sat 17 Oct 2020, 17:40

I am so thankful that this has been brought to attention. I have moaned about the tarmac strips on pavements which spoil the look of our lovely town, but people have assured me that they will eventually merge the colour as the company used the term RESTORE.  I am sure they will not and we are stuck with this mess.

Hannen Beith
👍 1

Sat 17 Oct 2020, 17:33

Agree Alan.  See my rants in the "Traffic Signs" thread.  Although I admit that they were more about the personal impact on me than the neighbourhood as a whole.

Liz Leffman's comment is, as usual, very helpful, but I'm not sure I've got the stomach for the fight.

I have a friend who lives in an Oxfordshire village (towards the East of the County) and she told me a similar tale of woe.  Except now ( a year on) the pavement outside her house is collapsing.  She has contacted Gigaclear but they won't even acknowledge her communications let alone respond substantively or carry out remedial works.

I agree, the pavements look horrid, and am astonished that there is legislation in place to allow our democratically elected Councillors to be side lined.

Alan Colgan
👍 4

Sat 17 Oct 2020, 17:21

Having been a resident for twenty years, I have joined the forum to add this post.

A company called MKJ are currently cutting open roads and pavements throughout Charlbury.  It is possible to repair such damage and make a decent job of it, as can be seen at the very top of Dyers Hill.  MKJ, however,  have chosen a cheaper and quicker method and are using tarmac.  As a result, they are making Charlburys streets look ugly.  They are making Charlburys streets look cheap.  And when the work deteriorate and our pavements and roads become unsafe (and even uglier), Charlbury will be in a constant state of repair, which, eventually, we will all end up paying for.

Oxfordshire County Council will no doubt sign this work off as acceptable unless forced to do otherwise.  Please email highwayenquiries@oxfordshire.gov.uk, quoting the location and the contractor involved, to register your complaint about this cheap and shoddy work that has been forced upon us all.

This is not about the current disruption.  This is not about broadband speed.  This is about our town and what it will look like when MKJ leave.     

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