menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Radio



Click to see updates

Where will the 162 new BBC DAB transmitters be?

The BBC has announced today a two-year plan to bring national BBC DAB to 2 million more people - to bring BBC national DAB coverage to above 97%.

We should not lose sight of the fact that overwhelmingly our audiences still come to our services through broadcast platforms  Photograph: Shutterstock
We should not lose sight of the fact that overwhelmingly our audiences still come to our services through broadcast platforms Photograph: Shutterstock
published on UK Free TV

Alix Pryde, Director of BBC Distribution, has written a blog post today explaining where the Making Waves: extending the BBC digital radio coverage to a further 2 million people

To quote Dr Pryde,

For radio, nearly 90% of listening hours are delivered through FM, AM, and digital (DAB), equating to 900 million hours of radio each week in round numbers; a staggering figure. It's the same for TV; some 98% of viewing is to live or time-shifted programmes which were delivered to the home on satellite, cable, or Freeview.

So I am making the point that we have to balance our critical investment in the future with investment in broadcast platforms, in order that they are worthy as the nation's favourite places to watch and listen to our services.

You might be wondering what this means for BBC Local Radio or our radio services for the Nations. Not a lot, I'm sorry to say. As you might know, our Local Radio services and our radio services for the Nations are carried in capacity which we buy from a commercial multiplex operator in each area. The expansion of the commercial multiplexes is tied up with the Government's digital radio action plan. There is extensive work going on across the industry on that front and we expect some more news at the end of this year. So, for now at least, this phase of network expansion covers only the BBC's UK-wide services.

The locations are listed as

BBC DAB Phase 4 by area, number of transmitters in parentheses, including principal towns/villages

City-centre boosts

Aberdeen, Bournemouth, Coventry, Glasgow, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool, Oxford and Plymouth


Berkshire (2) - Wokingham, Maidenhead
Buckinghamshire (3) - Chesham, Aylesbury, High Wycombe
Cambridgeshire (1) - Wisbech
Cornwall (2) - St Just, St Erth
County Durham (1) - Weardale Valley
Cumbria (1) - Barrow-in-Furness
Derbyshire (6) - Ashbourne, Glossop, Chapel-en-le-Frith
Devon (10) - Ashburton, Bampton, Beer, Brixham, Dartmouth
Dorset (3) - Lyme Regis, Blandford Forum
Essex (2) - Braintree, Harlow
Gloucestershire (2) - Stow-on-the-Wold
Hampshire (4)
Hertfordshire (2) - Letchworth, Stevenage
Isle of Wight (1) - Ventnor
Kent (4) - Folkestone, Faversham, Dover, Deal
Lancashire (5) - Darwen, Blackpool, Whalley, Whitworth
Lincolnshire (7) - Boston, Bourne, Grantham, Scunthorpe, Skegness
Norfolk (11) - Brandon, Fakenham, Downham Market, Kings Lynn, Thetford, Wells-next-the-Sea
North Yorkshire (3) - Harrogate, Pateley Bridge, Skipton
Northampton (1)
Northumberland (3) - Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Alnmouth, Alnwick
Oxfordshire (1) - Banbury
Redcar and Cleveland (1) - Skinningrove
Shropshire (4) - Bishop's Castle, Church Stretton, Ludlow, Oswestry
Somerset (2) - Chard, Weston-super-Mare
South Yorkshire (1) - Stocksbridge
Suffolk (7) - Southwold, Bungay, Felixstowe, Sudbury, Ipswich
Surrey (4) - Caterham, Haslemere, Dorking, Leatherhead
West Sussex (3) - Crawley, East Grinstead
East Sussex (2) - Rye, Eastbourne
Teeside (1) - Barnard Castle
West Yorkshire (4) - Hebden Bridge, Calder Valley
Worcestershire (1)


Aberdeenshire (3)
Argyll and Bute (2), including Islay
Borders (3) - Innerleithen, Jedburgh, Peebles
Dumfries and Galloway (4) - Kirkconnel, Langholm, Moffat, Thornhill
Ross-shire and the isles (1)
Isle of Skye (1)
Perthshire (1) - Montrose
South Ayrshire (2)
South Lanarkshire (1)


Bridgend (1)
Camarthenshire (1) - Kidwelly
Ceredigion (2) - Lampeter, Newcastle Emlyn
Conwy (1)
North Anglesey (1)
Flintshire (1)
Neath Port Talbot (1)
North Wales (5) - Deiniolen, Dolgellau, Cefn Mawr, Wrexham
Pembrokeshire (2) - Haverfordwest, Tenby
Powys (4) - Brecon, Hay-on-Wye, Llanidloes, Machynlleth
South Wales (1) - Aberdare
Swansea (1)

Northern Ireland

Ballycastle (1)
Bangor (1)
Newtownards (1)

Channel Islands

Guernsey (1)

Isle of Man

Ramsey (1)
Port St Mary (1)

I will integrate these locations into the UK Free TV DAB system soon.

Help with TV/radio stations?
BBC Three Linear channel re-opens1
Will car radios have to be replaced?2
Will UKTV History and FTN eventually be available on fSfS or Freesat? They are 3
Could u please explain why there are no subtitles on most of your films terresti4
Can I pay as you go for British Europsort on my digital tv without subscribing?5
In this section
Which 45 masts transmit the 15 new national DAB radio stations? 1
UK Free TV: 392 AM radio transmissions now have coverage maps2
New! 1000s of new DAB and FM radio coverage maps3
We ARE going to get BBC Local Radio on Freeview ... today!4
How do the two new national DAB radio bids compare?5
More digital radio stations. Ofcom - finally - proposes DAB+6

Thursday, 17 October 2013

9:54 PM

Joe: I just tried my Pure - there are BBC podcasts still available, such as a Today Programme story, and there are a fair number, but I didn't try them all, so I'm not sure how many, and whether they work.

link to this comment
MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Friday, 18 October 2013
11:06 PM

Thanks MikeB. Problem seems to be partly resolved. Podcasts are now available again. Issue is finding a podcast with correct programme title. Look at BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Afternoon Drama. Podcast titles are weeks old, podcast you get is something else. More like a lucky dip.

Where does one contact the BBC about such issues?

link to this comment
Joe's 10 posts GB flag

11:36 PM

Joe: There seems to be a link for contacting the BBC on both their postcost page and one for DAB radio : BBC - Radio - Contact

Since the situation sort of comes under a number of different departments (Internet, podcast, DAB?), I'd suggest pick one and see.

It is annoying, and It would be interesting to see how many others have the same problem. Might be worth contacting Roberts, and see if they have a software update which might help - I know that Pure do that every so often.

I have to admit that I tend to use my Ipod touch with the Iplayer/Iplayer radio app/Itunes/TuneIN for listing to podcasts, so its not a feature I've used, but is certainly one thats going to be more in demand. I've just noticed that What Hifi has just given the Radio of the Year award to the Pure F4 - which is an internet radio (i've got the cheap previous version) - thats the future, so the BBC had better make sure that their services work with it.

Let us know what happens.

link to this comment
MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Saturday, 19 October 2013

11:43 AM

I have to say after installing my first DAB car radio, I was dissapointed with the reception.

However I invested in a Dega 4001 aerial. And what a difference.

I am receiving stations way out of the official coverage area now. No signal break up at all in the radio in the coverage maps this site provides!

I am impressed. OK DAB isn't the most brilliant audio quality, but in the car and having a decent choice of stations, it is excellent!

link to this comment
pgw's 23 posts GB flag
Sunday, 20 October 2013
Dave E
9:17 AM

I'm interested in this debate purely for its potential effects in in car radio -both our existing cars have "built in AM/FM radio/CD players" , not swappable by the amateur -assuming that not everybody is going to be in position to buy new cars for the changeover!! (and still very few new cars are offered with DAB as standard anyway) - how are we going to be able to receive programmes??

link to this comment
Dave E's 19 posts GB flag

10:30 AM

Dave E:

40.1% of new cars now have DAB fitted as standard.

link to this comment
Mark's 181 posts GB flag
Monday, 21 October 2013
Trevor Harris

10:08 AM

59.9% of new cars don't have DAB fitted as standard is a better way of looking at it. Millions of cars don't have DAB.

Looking through the forums at people who have got a DAB car radio I have found that a large proportion object to having to listen in mono . There are objections to the sound quality and coverage but I was suprised how importent stereo was to most listeners. I don't remember any research into the acceptability of mono. After all we have had stereo since the 70's and so we tend to take it for granted. I have always found stereo in the car is very effective for both speach and music.

@Dave E

Unfortunatly there is no cheap way of including a DAB downgrade in cars. It involves a new head unit and aerial. This is more difficult with cars which don't have DIN or IOS standard car radios. Steering wheel controls also add to the complications. This is one of the reasons the so called FM switch off will not happen in the near future.

link to this comment
Trevor Harris's 367 posts GB flag

7:23 PM

Trevor Harris:

If stereo is important there are plenty of DAB stations in stereo, including 6 Music, 1Xtra, Absolute, Capital Xtra and many stations on the local multiplexes. Radio 1, Radio 2 & Radio 3 are in stereo on DAB, as they are on FM.

If you list the major stations that are in stereo on FM but mono on DAB it's quite a small number e.g. Planet Rock (West Midlands FM), Kiss (East Anglia & Severn Estuary FM). BBC Radio 4 sometimes drops to mono in the evenings but many of the programmes transmitted are in mono anyway.

BBC Radio 1 has only been in stereo since the late 1980s - it was reported that they had about 20 million listeners on medium wave in the 1970s & early 1980s.

link to this comment
Mark's 181 posts GB flag
J Peter Wilson

7:53 PM

Having just got back from a late holiday I am starting to catch-up on this news of BBC DAB roll-out of an extra 162 transmitters for their national services such as 6 Music and Radio 4 Extra

DAB is what we listen to most of the time either at home (Pure radios) or in the car (JVC + a good DAB antenna) as this is the only way I can listen to Jazz FM, Premier or UCB as well as the full choice of BBC radio is via DAB.

The signal is excellent on these specialist jazz and Christian stations as they have their processing just right I can listen to the music I love. Before DAB I did not have this range of choice and as most of my radios are single speaker not being in stereo is fine with me.

Most people I know do like the choice that DAB brings and some of us remember the days when we only had three BBC national stations and had to wait until 7pm to listen to 208 or Radio 270 off Scarborough!!

link to this comment
J Peter Wilson's 30 posts GB flag
J's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage

8:19 PM

"The signal is excellent on these specialist jazz and Christian stations as they have their processing just right I can listen to the music I love"
Sorry but I try to listens to UCB but always end up turning it off do to poor QUAULITY of the audio on music.
I'm told they operate on minimum bandwidth.

link to this comment
David's 306 posts GB flag
Select more comments

Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentUK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.