We have received the findings of an independent survey to assess areas of no or poor mobile phone coverage in the county and are now considering how to address the issues identified.
The survey showed that the county has some coverage in most areas, but coverage by individual operators is patchy. It revealed that while there are areas with no coverage, many will be addressed by planned work by commercial mobile network operators in conjunction with the new Emergency Services Network.
It identified a small number of places with no coverage – “not spots” – where the County Council could consider providing infrastructure to improve coverage, if no commercial remedy is planned. Earlier this year, the County Council secured £1m from the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership to improve mobile phone coverage in “not spots”.
The authority is now consulting mobile network operators and others to learn whether mast developments are planned in any of these areas in the next three years.
The sites identified are:
- A684 west of Leyburn near Sissy Bank;
- north end of Coverdale;
- C48 west of Masham near Healey;
- Appletreewick, Craven;
- Skipton on Swale;
- A1041, south of Selby;
- Kildale; and
- Mickley and West Tanfield.
At present, these are sites for potential investment subject to detailed surveying and analysis. Any proposals for development of masts will be based on the results of the consultation and factors including the area covered, population, businesses within the locality, amount of road covered and number of visitors.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “Improving mobile phone coverage is vital to the economic growth of the county. We are making progress and will use the investment funds available to achieve the best support for business growth and tourism, as well as to help to remove social isolation and help young people to build futures within their communities.”