§ Mr. Hamling
asked the Postmaster-General what further plans have been made for the development of very high frequency stations for BBC 2.557W
§ Mr. Benn
I take it that my hon. Friend has in mind the development of the ultra high frequency network to transmit BBC 2.
I have now approved in principle the building of a further ten high-power UHF stations.
One of the ten, to serve East Lincolnshire, is already being built to broadcast both the BBC's and the ITA's VHF transmissions; and the addition of the UHF component will, it is hoped, be made by the end of the year so that BBC 2 would be available to East Lincolnshire then. The remaining nine should be completed towards the end of 1968 or shortly thereafter, provided no unexpected difficulties arise; and will serve:
- Bedfordshire and parts of the adjoining counties.
- East Lothian and parts of Edinburgh.
- East Cornwall.
- North Hampshire.
Six of the new stations will be built at the sites of existing VHF stations at Belmont, Sandy Heath, Caradon Hill, Moely-Parc, Balcalk and Londonderry. For the remaining four (East Lothian, North Hampshire, Staffordshire and Sussex) new sites will have to be found.
When these stations and the eighteen stations approved earlier are complete BBC 2 will be available to about three-quarters of the population of the United Kingdom.