A CABINET minister has been asked to intervene to end a village being left as a ‘dead zone’ for mobile phone users.

Conservative MP Nigel Evans is angry the signal remains poor in Sabden despite the construction of a new mast almost a year ago which has yet to go live.

The Ribble Valley backbencher has made several efforts to find out why the village still has no reliable mobile phone connection for its 1,500 residents.

Similar efforts by Sabden’s councillor Ricky Newmark have been fruitless.

Now Mr Evans has written to Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, asking him to intervene.

He said: “The village is now effectively a ‘dead-zone’ for mobile signal, despite the construction of a new mast almost a year ago.

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“Clarke Telecom, a Manchester based provider of 4G mast technology, built the new mobile phone mast last autumn, but the mast is still not live.

“When pushed by local residents and Cllr Newmark, the four partners involved in the project have unable to answer simple questions about when the mast will be functional.

“Nobody is being informed of why the mast is still switched off.

"Vodafone and O2 continue to kick the can down the road and provide feeble answers to serious questions.

“Simply stating that ‘work has to be completed on all our masts’ does not wash. I am concerned that with emphasis on the national 5G rollout, Sabden is getting left behind and forgotten about.

“I am utterly frustrated that after almost a year the mast has not been switched on. It is needed to serve the 1,500 residents of Sabden, some of whom have been relying on a landline to run their business or work from home.”

Cllr Newmark said: “It’s absolutely unacceptable that some of the leading-edge technology companies in the country are unable to switch on a mobile phone mast. I discovered that there are currently over 1,780 mobile phone masts across the country waiting to be switched on, many in rural locations.”

Dr Ilana Clark, Vodafone’s community relations manager, said: “Vodafone and O2 customers expect to be able to use their mobiles and devices where they live, work and travel.

“We have been working in the Sabden area to provide new and improved network services to local residents. We are in the process of completing the installation of a new site in the area which will go live as soon as possible.”