BBC Radio Wales to get FM coverage boost

BBC Radio Wales will be available across 91% of Wales, thanks to a major boost to its FM signal next week and taking some frequencies from Radio 3.

The national station currently reaches 79% of households in Wales, with listeners in North East and Mid Wales set to benefit most from the expansion.

The changes will be achieved by using a small number of existing FM frequencies currently allocated to BBC Radio 3. Radio 3 will continue to be available to 92% of households in Wales on FM as well as its existing availability on DAB radio, television and online.

Areas set to benefit from the boost to Radio Wales on FM include Welshpool, Llandrindod Wells, Ruthin, Brecon and the A55 and A470 road networks. In total, more than 550 miles of road in Wales will be covered for the first time. Work has been ongoing on over 30 transmitters to ensure minimum disruption to radio listeners.

Editor of BBC Radio Wales, Colin Paterson says: “As we approach our fortieth birthday celebrations next month, this exciting development is set to benefit BBC Radio Wales listeners in many parts of Wales and make it a national service in every sense. We know that in the past some Radio Wales listeners have been frustrated by FM blackspots. These changes mean if you’re at home or in the car, more listeners than ever can tune in to enjoy the unique mix of entertainment, music and sport Radio Wales has to offer.”

This year, Radio Wales celebrates its 40th anniversary. Its year-long celebration will include a birthday bus tour with special programmes and a variety show at the Swansea Grand Theatre.

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  1. Dan Dean says

    Another of those BBC stations that appeals to nobody….”personality” presenters who are not!….music and speech that don’t gel, an audience that is elderly yet music that is far too current ….I just never meet anyone who listens to it. nor do I hear it on anywhere….twenty million quid of tax payers money wasted.

    1. Adrian says

      You are right Dan and it’s a great shame.Radio Wales in the late 70’s and early 80’s was a joy especially Chris Stuart at breakfast time,Mike Flynn,Meet For Lunch with Vincent Kane etc.What makes it a particular shame in my eyes is the fact that the commercial stations in Wales have gone downhill and there is therefore a big potential market there with decent programming.It couldn’t be an all talk station as that would be too expensive but something a bit more predictable in terms of what you are going to get when you turn-on as it does not have the following it used to probably because as you say it alienates all the different audiences it is trying to serve.Radio Ulster is very popular so I don’t see why Radio Wales couldn’t be if it was better programmed-without that new frequencies are a waste of time,you’ve always been able to get it Medium Wave Anyway-in fact across much of England too,I used to regularly listen in Kent.

  2. David says

    Radio Wales is a great station. Adam Walton is the best programme anywhere, also Janice Long and Bethan Elfyn very good. The weekday breakfast show is one of the few where the presenters don’t shout at you. Not sure what’s wrong with playing current music, the English BBC locals seem to have had an awful playlist put together in the 1980s and haven’t changed in since, Radio Wales much better. Chris Needs plays to an older audience, not my personal cup of tea but only one programme.

  3. jim birkett says

    It is odd that the Radio Cymru FM signal reaches deep into England, including Merseyside, Worcester, Somerset etc etc (where there are very very few Welsh speakers!)
    The Radio Wales AM signal can be heard quite clearly after dark in Southern Norway!

    1. Adrian says

      Yes,I can well believe that Jim,the signals go a long way but if you are motoring through the Brecons , as I often do, I get terrible reception problems on every wavelength I try-some transmitters are OK for a short distance but then fade out so I end up playing cd’s etc.In the past I’ve picked-up Radio Cymru easily across the Midlands,North and even sometimes the Home Counties.The two stations combined have recently not exceeded 500,000 listeners in Wales (about 15% of the population) let alone everywhere else!.

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