Storm Barra: TV signal restored after temporary Bilsdale mast stops transmitting to 500,000 homes

110821 - Bilsdale temporary mast - ITV

Television signal has been restored to the approximately 500,000 homes affected by the temporary breakdown of the new 80m Bilsdale mast.

At roughly 1:43pm on Tuesday 7 December, all Freeview signal from the Bilsdale Quarry Mast stopped. It is likely radio signal was also affected.

Social media users speculated the mast had collapsed under high winds, while mast owners Arqiva investigated possible antenna damage caused by Storm Barra.

Engineers restored signal at approximately 2:50pm - just over an hour after the outage.

On Tuesday evening, Arqiva confirmed the breakdown was caused by Storm Barra, with ice "quickly" forming on the antenna.

A spokesperson from Arqiva said: “We are aware of a brief outage at the temporary Bilsdale Mast during the very powerful effects of Storm Barra; engineers have (2.50pm) now restored the service.

“Bad weather conditions caused by Storm Barra meant that ice formed quickly on the temporary Bilsdale Mast earlier this afternoon," they later added.

As a result, a safety measure to protect antennae on the temporary mast was tripped, which then caused a temporary loss of service.

"The outage lasted for 53 minutes before an engineer at the site was able to fix the issue and restore services.

 “With high winds and sleet on the moor top our team of engineers remain vigilant near the site and is monitoring the situation closely.

This comes under two months after the transmitter was switched on for the first time on 13 October.

Telecommunications company Arqiva erected the mast - after weather delays - as a temporary solution after the original 314m mast was damaged in a fire and later demolished on 6 October.

More to follow.

Watch the original mast's demolition on 6 October:

Bilsdale mast fire: The story so far