MP urges urgent network improvements at Bangor business park

Reporter:

Dale Spridgeon

A MAJOR Bangor business hub has been left hanging on the line when it comes to its mobile phone coverage.

Businesses, entrepreneurs, local organisations, workers and clients at Parc Menai, one of north west Wales’ largest business parks, are increasingly frustrated by poor mobile phone service.

They have called in Arfon MP Hywel Williams to help them urge mobile phone providers to improve connectivity and handed him a report cataloguing their network issues.

The report concluded that over 90% of respondents have ‘poor or no service’ at all. Over 60% of respondents said that it was adversely affecting their business.

The Plaid Cymru MP has now taken up the matter with the two main network providers, EE and Vodafone.

Edwen Pritchard of the Wyngarth Nursery said: “I have experienced bad reception. There has been times when I have rung through to parents and you can’t get through. It could be a problem if one of the children were ill.

“A lot of the parents work in the park, some at the DWP building, and the reception is quite bad at times.”

Colin Bell, of Williams Denton Cyf, chartered accountants, said: “Reception can be a problem for people using mobiles.

“It’s not too bad for us as we have landlines, but it can be difficult for our clients when they come to us if they can’t use their phones.

“From a tax point of view, the Government is rolling out more systems for people to be more connected, digitally.

“People can now access their business accounts or invoices over their phones, but it won’t work here unless the network improves.”

Hywel Williams said: “Businesses and individuals operating from Parc Menai are clearly being put at a disadvantage with the mobile phone network.

“In today’s fast-paced, digital world, the ability to do business over the phone is essential.

“The perennial lack of mobile service in Parc Menai is having a significant bearing on the park’s desirability as a centre for business.

“For Parc Menai to develop as a hub for innovative, technology-led businesses, it is imperative that employers and stakeholders are able to access a fast and reliable mobile service. It’s not a big ask.”

Tamsin Slinn, who works at Parc Menai and compiled the report, said: “Having experienced phone service problems at work, I did a survey to see how many people across the business park had the same problem. I found 90 per cent of people have little or no mobile phone service and there is no 4G coverage at all.

“This simply isn’t good enough for a business park. It is holding back local businesses.”

Mr Williams has also heard from a local businessperson, who wishes to remain anonymous, but is thinking of moving away from the site due to the problems.

“We have been based at Parc Menai for many years, and it is increasingly frustrating that members of staff cannot answer customer enquiries while sitting at our desks in what is the biggest business estate in North West Wales.

“Modern working practices mean that we are not always in the office and important clients expect to call us on mobile numbers and the lack of coverage across all networks in the Parc Menai area business is a risk, which could be a factor in us looking to move.”

Email:

dale.spridgeon@nwn.co.uk

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