HC Deb 24 May 1962 vol 660 cc66-7W
Mr. Bourne-Arton

asked the Postmaster-General if he will now make a statement about Stage 3 of the British Broadcasting Corporation's plans for improving and extending their television and very high frequency sound coverage.

Mr. Bevins

Yes. I have now given my approval in principle to proposals made by the B.B.C.—

  • 1. to build low-power satellite television and V.H.F. sound stations in the following areas:
  • Barnstaple.
  • Bath.
  • Cambridge.
  • Carmarthen.
  • Cheltenham/Gloucester
  • Hereford.
  • Kendal.
  • Larne.
  • Machynlleth.
  • Newry.
  • Northampton.
  • Okehampton.
  • Perth.
  • Rothesay/Largs.

2. to build other satellite television stations in the following areas:

  • Bedford.
  • Bexhill.
  • Blackpool.
  • Canterbury.
  • Eastbourne.
  • Grimsby.
  • Ventnor, Isle of Wight.
  • Weardale,County Durham.
  • Woofferton, Shropshire

3. to build satellite VHF sound stations in:

  • Barrow.
  • Brecon.
  • Brighton.
  • Scarborough.

At Brecon and Brighton television reception is already available. Television stations serving Barrow and Scarborough will be provided under Stages 1 and 2.

These 23 television stations and 18 VHF sound stations represent the third stage in the B.B.C.'s plans for improving and extending their coverage. They will improve reception for some 850,000 people as well as giving service for the first time to some 40,000 others. Some 130,000 people will get the VHF sound service for the first time.

All these stations will use very low-power "translators" which receive the programme from an existing station and relay it on another channel. Stations of this type are designed to be used in places where a suitable site can be found for reception of a parent station.

The B.B.C. plan to build further stations in later stages of their scheme. Some of them will need to be on higher power and to have more elaborate equipment. In particular, further stations in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland can be planned only when the stations already authorised for this area in Stages 1 and 2 are in operation and their effective range has been established.

The B.B.C. assure me that Stage 3 will not delay the completion of Stages 1 and 2, announced in the House in June, 1959, and May, 1960. It is hoped to complete all three Stages by the end of 1964.

£ sterling
—— 1952 1960 1961 Jan.-March,1962
(1) Electronic and nucleonic valves and tubes of which 137,301 354,945 461,969 122,306
Cathode ray tubes 47,168 8,363 9,365 1,409
(2) Radio receiving sets, domestic, complete 17,605 86,309 150,551 36,109
(3) Television receiving sets and chassis substantially assembled 165,908 176

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