AN MP wants a Home Office minister to visit her constituency to explain why the activation of a network of masts designed to improve emergency service coverage in remote areas looks set to be further delayed, despite being completed months ago Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts has issued the invitation.

Fourteen new EAS masts are being erected across Dwyfor Meirionnydd, which, once live, will provide crucial emergency service and data coverage, significantly improving mobile signal in areas with no or very limited mobile coverage.  

Eleven masts have long been completed and are awaiting connection to the electricity grid, but their anticipated switch-on date is towards the latter half of 2024. Mrs Saville Roberts has now asked Home Office Minister, The Rt Hon. Chris Philp MP to visit her constituency to see why switching on these masts is a necessity.

Masts completed and awaiting connection to the grid include Mallwyd, Penmaenpool, Rhosygwalia, Llanymawddwy, Dolgellau, Llanbedr, Beddgelert, Bryncrug, and Nant Gwynant.

The infrastructure is part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme between the UK Government and the UK’s four mobile network operators, which will see 4G coverage boosted across Wales.

Writing to the minister, Mrs Saville Roberts MP said: "I note that eleven of the fourteen EAS masts have been completed but will not be made live until the first quarter of 2024 at the earliest.' 

"I request that you visit my constituency to view its rural nature and the difficulties faced by my constituents in accessing services which are increasingly moving online in areas not covered by 4G data nor reliable broadband speeds. "The visit will also be an opportunity to see for yourself the challenging topography which necessitates the switching on of fourteen EAS masts across Dwyfor Meirionnydd for use by the emergency services."

Mrs Saville Roberts added: "The lack of a reliable mobile phone signal has long been an issue for many residents, businesses and visitors in rural Dwyfor Meirionnydd, which suffers disproportionally when it comes to inadequate mobile connectivity.

"I have long campaigned to improve mobile phone coverage in my rural constituency but despite significant progress, there remains too many areas where access to a reliable mobile phone signal is non-existent.

"Whilst I welcome a renewed commitment to expand the Shared Rural Network programme through the installation of 14 emergency service masts across Dwyfor Meirionnydd, the roll-out must be delivered at pace.

"Eleven of these sites have long been built, yet remain idle with an estimated connection date towards the latter part of 2024. The sites in question represent areas where mobile coverage is largely non-existent.

"This ongoing delay is depriving local communities of access to a reliable phone service and preventing the roll-out of emergency service coverage in the most rural parts of my constituency. "I hope the Minister accepts my invite and visits Dwyfor Meirionnydd at the earliest opportunity so that these masts can be switched on without further delay."