Belmont TV transmitter lights turned off

Monday 2pm - THE aircraft warning lights which make the Belmont television transmitter such a bright landmark at night were being replaced this week – by even brighter lights.

It meant some 'outages', or breaks in transmission, had to take place to ensure the safety of workmen carrying out the project.

Many people in the area will have noticed the top light on the 1,270ft (385m) mast has not been working for the last month, a problem that should have been put right by today, Wednesday.

"Because the lights were scheduled to be changed this week the top light has remained out and we have been liaising closely with air traffic control," said Bruce Randall, spokesman for Arqiva, the company which operates the transmitter.

"All the lights should have been replaced by Wednesday of this week. They are different and could be a bit brighter.

"Safety is the only consideration when it comes to lights on masts and the work at Belmont is being done to meet regulations."

Mr Randall said outages had to be built in to the schedule while workmen were operating anywhere near antennae carrying power.

"We have to negotiate these down times with the broadcasters and were expecting two 20-minute outages," he said.