A number of residents in Stonesfield are annoyed about a six-mile diversion to get to their homes and what they claim is poor signage after the main road through the village was closed while broadband is being installed.

One resident, Paul Bates, said: “They put the first ‘Road closed’ sign at Witney Lane junction so people from the Witney direction get all that way before finding out they need to take a huge diversion.

“When walking I have been asked by residents in cars ‘how closed is the road, I only live up there…’. The answer is a six-mile, 25-minute drive diversion.

"Householders on Laughton Hill have vans and cars trying to do a U-turn outside their houses.”

And Christine Simpson posted on Next Door: “What a shock to get nearly home to see the road closed sign then having to do a three-point turn and go to Wilcote, Eastend, Long Hanborough and Combe – earlier notice would have been good!!”

Broadband provider Gigaclear are responsible for the works. 

Mr Bates accepted Gigaclear did put up advance warning signs about 10 days before the closure but he claims they were unreadable to passing motorists. 

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Gigaclear said it is currently working to connect residents to its ultrafast, full-fibre broadband network.

“Delivering this infrastructure is an enormous undertaking, which can sometimes be disruptive. We have a team of Community Engagement Managers who are tasked with liaising with residents, the local council and other stakeholders to ensure that all are informed of our activities and to address any issues should they arise. 

“Our works permit is in place from 19 May until 4 June 2021. There are no alternative routes that we could take because we are actively connecting properties on the road in which we are working. Diversion routes are set by Oxfordshire County Council.  

“As with all such road closures, we have put up signage ahead of time, notified all immediately impacted residents via letter, and held an online community event for all residents in the village during which we shared all our planned road closures.” 

Stonesfield Parish Council said in a statement: "As a parish council we do not have an issue with Gigaclear and the council receives regular, weekly, information and updates. Road closure updates are also posted on the village website weekly as a result of the communication that Gigaclear provides to the council.

“Gigaclear has also worked with the parish clerk to agree installing Gigaclear to the village primary school free of charge which is very welcome for the village and will benefit many of our village families."

A spokesman for the council said:  “Oxfordshire County Council is working closely with Gigaclear and their contractors to engage with residents over upcoming and ongoing works. These initiatives include letter drops to residents, advanced signage, information about permittable works on one network and a dedicated communications team within Gigaclear.”