Television screens remain blank in Filey as efforts to build a new transmitter mast at Bilsdale are being frustrated by access issues. The mast operator Arqiva are trying to negotiate with a nearby landowner, but may have to go through the courts to enable access to the mast site for heavy equipment required to erect the temporary mast.
A spokesperson for Arqiva said: ‘Our teams are working round the clock, alongside our partners, to return services to normal for people across the area as quickly as possible. We fully recognise that, for those who remain affected, this is a frustrating time as services have not been restored as quickly as we had hoped. We apologise for that.
‘The remaining stages of our plan require access to the original mast site to deliver materials, build and commission the temporary 80-metre mast which would expand TV services to the vast majority of households. The legal process to secure appropriate access to the site to build the 260 foot temporary mast is taking longer than we initially anticipated and as a result it will not be operational by this weekend as we’d hoped.’
Viewers who have been affected for more than a month (screens went blank on 10 August), will receive a partial refund of their television licence. A TV Licensing spokesperson said: “Customers in the affected area who have been unable to receive TV coverage for over a month, and who are unable to view BBC programming through BBC iPlayer and on cable and satellite platforms, will be eligible for a refund or be offered a free extension to their TV Licence to cover the months affected.
However, those affected to request an extension to their licence through the TV Licensing website, or via calling TV Licensing call centre on 0300 790 6096 after 10 September.
In our view this is ludicrous, the refund should be automatic. We do hope that people will make their views clear to the area’s MP Kevin Hollinrake who has been active on the matter.