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2% of UK roads have no mobile phone coverage

Date: 30 November 2015   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Almost 4600 miles of the UK's road network has no mobile phone coverage from any network providers, new research suggests.

According to the RAC Foundation, 4561 miles - or 2% - of the network ignore no coverage, meaning that drivers can't call for help in the event of an emergency.

If a mobile phone user is in a location where the mobile phone network provides no coverage but another network does (a partial not-spot) then an emergency call can be made from that phone. If there is no network coverage from any of the four main providers (a total not-spot) then an emergency call cannot be made.

Nearly 30,000 miles meanwhile, have partial 2G coverage. A 2G signal is the minimum needed to make phone calls and send text messages.

The RAC Foundation also found that there are 14,554 miles where there is an absence of 3G signal, while a further 111,679 miles - 45% of the UK's network - only has partial 3G coverage, while 56% has no 4G coverage, and 27% has partial coverage.

"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 the reality is somewhat different," said Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation.

"Our work shows there are thousands of miles of road along which you would not want to break down or have an accident because calling the emergency services and home wouldn't be an option," he added.

The local authority areas with the most miles of road without any mobile signal coverage are:

1) Highland (452 miles)

2) Powys (437 miles)

3) Argyll & Bute (293 miles)

4) Cumbria (252 miles)

5) Devon (243 miles)

6) Dumfries & Galloway (237 miles)

7) North Yorkshire (231 miles)

8) Scottish Borders (226 miles)

9) Gwynedd (172 miles)

10) Ceredigion (156 miles)