After the miserable weather conditions of the last few weeks it was a relief to restart the project even though the Covid 19 restrictions have meant that our “Group Digs” are still suspended.
However the B4RN contractors have been able to work (B4RN is an essential service) and last week have been able to lay ducting in the fields behind Dove Nest Lane and Main Street, which means that, shortly, the properties backing on to those fields will be able to connect (house kits need to be fitted and B4RN need to blow and splice the fibre). Some 6,000 metres of ducting, that’s almost 4 miles.
This week B4RN staff have laid ducting in Fell Field (behind Woodbank Crescent). A socially distanced group of local volunteers pulled 4,000 metres of it (2.6 miles in old money) from drums to service 57 properties - better than a Joe Wickes work out!
And whilst these works were ongoing you might have seen the ubiquitous orange ducting in the fields on the West side of the A65. We are pushing through to Summerlands Trading Estate and beyond. This will mean the core route will have been laid all around the village and the next stage is to start working back into the centre - a bit more difficult because of its built up nature.
One interesting side effect has been what we call “the hi- viz/orange ducting” syndrome. When these are spotted in the village they spark interest and I get emails and phone calls asking “am I too late to get it”. And the answer is “Not yet but you need to get your skates on”.
What this rapid roll out highlighted is that we could not have made the progress we have without the generosity of the landowners in granting access to their property. Our thanks to them - without their help this community project could not have happened.
John Lyons and B4RNPR volunteer team