September 2 2014 Latest news:
By DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP
Monday, October 22, 2012
Residents from a seaside town in north Norfolk have been left without mobile phone signal after a mast was removed ahead of a new supermarket development.
The mast, serving Vodafone users, was dismantled from the former fire station site in Sheringham last Monday to make way for the new Tesco store.
Sheringham councillor Richard Smith is now calling for a solution to be found after dozens of locals have been left without vital coverage.
“A lack of mobile coverage is not only a nuisance for residents but it could result in life or death situations if emergency workers can’t contact each other,” he said.
“The tragedy in this case is a lack of joined up thinking between the County Council, Vodafone and Tesco.
“With a bit of forward planning this disruption could have been easily prevented. Instead we are left with a situation where our mobiles are virtually useless in parts of the town.”
There is currently no replacement mast and the town has been left reliant on two other distant transmitters.
A resident who lives at The Common, but did not want to be named, said the town had been “decommissioned by Vodafone” and was frustrated they were not getting the service they were paying for.
Other residents have been offered reimbursements on ‘sure signal’ boxes to help boost their signal and have been told they can apply for compensation once the signal is restored - which some say will be as late as February 2013.
A press officer for Vodafone said there is a replacement site for a mast but that it was “not operational yet”.
She said: “We are working on it at the moment - engineers have been working on it for the last week.
“We hope to get it working considerably earlier than February 2013 and an update is expected [today].”
Mr Smith added: “I would urge Vodafone to resolve this issue as a matter of urgency.
“They could well face a lot more disgruntled customers if the outage continues.”