Plan to restore TV signals across North East including Hartlepool after mast fire hit by delay

Plans to restore TV signals after a fire to a transmitter affecting Hartlepool have been hit by a delay.

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 3:43 pm
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) said six appliances have been sent to tackle the blaze at the Bilsdale transmitting centre, high on the North York Moors, north of Helmsley. Photo credit: Daniel Law/PA Wire

Damage caused to the Bilsdale mast in North Yorkshire on August 10 is continuing to affect aerial and Freeview digital channel signals in the town.

In an update Freeview say efforts to install a temporary transmitter at a new site near the existing mast are taking longer than expected due to legal issues over access.

As Bilsdale is a Site of Special Scientific Interest the transmitter operating company Arqiva has to get permission.

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It is trying to reach agreement with the landowner to speed up the process.

Arqiva has also informed the courts that it is a serious and urgent situation.

It had been intended to erect the temporary transmitter at the new site by Saturday, August 28.

Freeview said: “This date has now been delayed as the legal process to secure access to the site is taking longer than Arqiva had initially anticipated.

"We share viewers’ disappointment that the new temporary mast at Bilsdale has been delayed, particularly at such short notice.

"However, we have faith that Arqiva is doing everything in its power to reach a new access agreement with the landowner.”

The temporary transmitter should reinstate TV coverage for the majority of households which normally receive signals directly from the Bilsdale mast.

Freeview added locating transmission equipment involves complex work to assess coverage areas, avoid interfering with other transmissions, and take account of the environment.

They say if automatic retune does not work it is unlikely viewers will be able to receive a signal until the new temporary transmitter is turned on.

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