Llandudno blighted by 'chronic' issue that's affecting lives of residents and visitors

Llandudno North Shore beach and promenade
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Forgrave/North Wales Live)

Mobile phone operators have been urged to sort out Llandudno’s inconsistent signal coverage. It follows an eye-opening survey that found families and businesses are often left without a reception in the Conwy resort.

The problem is most acute at the height of the summer tourism season when visitor numbers surge and local mobile networks become overloaded. Residents fear for their children, tourists struggle to access directions and business owners complain they can’t complete transactions.

First to highlight the issue was Conwy cabbie Dave Fare, who said his SumUp card machine is often unusable - the mobile device accounts for almost 70% of transactions. Aberconwy Senedd Member Janet Finch-Saunders has now carried out a wider survey and said the results were “shocking”.

READ MORE: Two garden centres in North Wales with much-loved cafes have gone up for sale

READ MORE: Jay Slater latest: TV detective claims 'real reason' teen left Airbnb he slept in

In a letter to mobile providers, she demanded “immediate attention and action” to address Llandudno’s “chronic lack of mobile signal”. As well as the economic impact, Ms Finch-Saunders said the current situation raised concerns about health emergencies. “The rest of the world talks about AI, yet Llandudno is still to install the infrastructure to be able to make a call from a mobile phone,” she said.

The resort is home to 115,000 residents and each year it attracts millions of tourists. Yet, according to Ofcom, the indoor likelihood of receiving voice or mobile data is classed as “limited”.

In a survey of 289 people, child safety concerns generated the most feedback, with more than 30% of respondents saying they were unable to contact their children when with friends or at school. Ms Finch-Saunders said this was causing widespread anxiety, with one mum complaining “my daughter is at the age now where she wants to be allowed a bit of freedom but with no signal to contact her and no signal for her to contact me”.

Almost as many business owners (29%) raided concerns too. Some said on-call staff were often “uncontactable”, affecting opening hours. Others complained of problems taking payments, with one stating: “The signal to the tills is shocking, and that’s with the internet in the shop”. Join the North Wales Live WhatsApp community group where you can get the latest stories delivered straight to your phone

More than 21% of respondents raised specific health concerns. As people often retire to live on the coast, Conwy’s age profile is higher than most in Wales, posing extra demands on medical services and support staff. Reliable connectivity is essential for emergencies but care workers complain of struggling even to arrange GP appointments.

A family member also commented: “My phone is an emergency contact number for my elderly family members and my children. Often, in the height of the tourism season, I’m uncontactable as the masts must be at capacity ... as there is no data available, despite showing a signal.”

Ms Finch-Saunders wants the new UK Government to push for wider connectivity across Wales – and specifically in Llandudno. She said: “From taxi drivers not being able to take payments, to visitors struggling to search for their next adventure, undoubtedly the concern extends far beyond merely using social media.

“Homes and families are also being affected. In my survey, 30% of respondents raised concerns for their children, and 21% about health concerns with the inability to reliably access urgent support from professionals or loved ones. This is just not good enough.” Sign up for the North Wales Live newsletter sent twice daily to your inbox

Find family activities near you