Crashes on the Malahat and Highwy 14 can cause lengthy highway shutdowns. (Black Press Media)

UPDATE: CRD director lobbies for full cellphone service on Pacific Marine Circle Tour

‘Critical to highway safety,’ says Mike Hicks

Vancouver Island’s Pacific Marine Circle Tour might be a relaxing and beautiful drive – but a local politician says the highway’s lack of cellphone service also makes it dangerous.

The 290-kilometre highway starts and ends in Victoria, with views of the Juan De Fuca, Haro, and Georgia straits. Much of the route weaves through remote wilderness.

Mike Hicks, Juan de Fuca’s electoral area director for the Capital Regional District, says more than half of the highway route has no cellphone service.

Hicks concerns heightened recently when the province announced it wouldn’t go ahead with plans for alternative routes for the Malahat highway.

RELATED: No to alternate route

A study, released in December, examined emergency detour routes that can be used when traffic incidents close the Malahat for long periods. Permanent alternate routes were not part of the study’s scope, Janelle Staite, regional deputy director for the B.C. Transportation Ministry, said.

The decision to not go ahead with any new route means in the event of a road closure on either the Malahat Highway or Highway 14, the only alternative route remains is the Pacific Marine Circle.

“If the province is decided on continuing with the Circle route it should ensure that it gets cell service on that route as soon as possible. This is a common sense factor and is critical to the safety of that highway,” Hicks said.

Hicks added he’s working to get that service put into place, but that the assistance of the province would be “hugely beneficial and the responsible thing to do.”

ALSO READ: CRD against alternate route

Any mobile service provider can install new cell sites, which would bring wireless and internet connectivity to the area.

Telus was the only cellphone company to respond to an interview request.

Telus provides wireless service along the between Victoria to Sooke, Victoria to Duncan, and Duncan to Lake Cowichan, and is looking at the possibility of expanding service along Highway 14 between Sooke and Port Renfrew.

“We will continue to explore opportunities to connect more of the highway in this area in the future, working collaboratively with local and provincial authorities,” said Liz Sauvé, a Telus spokesperson.

– with files from Black Press Media



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Legendary Reggae guitarist Al Anderson to hit the stage in Sidney

Member of Bob Marley’s band the Wailers will be at Mary Winspear Centre Jan. 30

Camosun student shares story of overcoming struggles to inspire others

Provincial Tuition Waiver Program helps former youths in care attend post-secondary institutions

Local Monarchist says Saanich Peninsula would be a ‘great place’ for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Bruce Hallsor also expects the couple’s professional opportunities to lie outside Greater Victoria

Court rejects mistrial for accused Victoria drug dealer who fired his lawyer

Horst Schirmer filed a mistrial application on basis of receiving incompetent representation

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

NBA star was reportedly in his private helicopter at the time of the crash

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

Most Read