The lack of a mobile phone signal on more than 750 miles of Welsh roads has been slammed as ‘unacceptable and potentially dangerous’ by two of UKIP’s front-benchers. Transport spokesman Jill Seymour, and the party’s MEP for Wales, Nathan Gill, were responding to a report from the RAC Foundation which named Powys, Gwynedd and Ceredigion among areas in the UK with the worst coverage.
Jill Seymour MEP, said: “In this technology-driven day and age, it is simply unacceptable for any part of the UK to have to put up with such a widespread lack of mobile phone coverage. Not only is this unnecessary, but it is potentially dangerous, because drivers assume they will be able to use their mobiles if they break down, or have an accident.
“In Wales, however, the reality is clearly quite different, and people may only discover this when it is too late. As the RAC Foundation rightly says, most of us like to think we are always just a mobile phone call away from help. But even in a crowded, high-tech country like Britain this is clearly not the case. ”
The report named Powys as the worst affected county, with 437 miles without signal. Gwynedd has 172 miles of road without signal and Ceredigion has 156 miles with a lack of coverage.
The A494 trunk road, which runs diagonally across much of Wales from Dolgellau to Mold, is singled out as a particularly bad mobile phone blackspot.
Nathan Gill said: “The lack of investment in Wales from the major mobile phone companies in comparison with other parts of the UK is scandalous. No wonder Welsh people – particularly those living in more rural areas – feel they are treated like second-class citizens.
“Telecoms regulator Ofcom says phone companies should deliver call coverage to 90 per cent of the country by 2017, but in many parts of Wales, they are not even getting close.
“The Welsh Assembly should be demanding Government intervention to sort this situation out, and not simply allowing the mobile phone companies to dictate terms, and put profit before equality.
“Otherwise, there is a real danger that parts of Wales are going to be left even further behind.”