A Kingston MP has argued a more “constructive” approach to putting up phone masts needs to be adopted by authorities and the public who protest against them.

Kingston and Surbiton MP James Berry has thrown his support behind the No Bars campaign, which aims to “create an atmosphere” where no phone signal spots are “unacceptable”.

The group will then put pressure on whoever needs to act to solve the problem, whether that be operators or councils, and get them to take action.

Mr Berry said: “Poor signal is definitely a problem in the borough. I have experienced it in parts of Surbiton and in Kingston around the hospital.

“[Phone companies being refused planning permission] is one of the problems, and of course I understand the legitimate objections of residents to mobile phone masts going up in certain locations.”

The campaign is being led by Surbiton resident and Conservative London MEP Syed Kamall.

He said:  “London is the greatest city in the world and Britain the greatest nation. It is wrong that so far into the 21st century people here should find their mobile phones failing them.

“It is potentially disruptive to business, a barrier to trade and a risk to public safety.

“This campaign aims to address it urgently.”

But members of Kingston campaign group Say no to the Monopole have successfully fought off several mobile phone masts being built on their doorstep.

The campaign in March collected more than 200 objections over a planned Vodafone and O2 phone mast at the junction of Tudor Drive and Park Road.

The mast, that would have provided 4G phone coverage in north Kingston, was rejected by Kingston Council and the campaign successfully stopped another mast being put up 150m away in October.

Campaign member Alan March opposed the Park Road application on the grounds of aesthetics, interference issues and the suggestion that the radio frequencies coming from the tower could disturb neighbouring bats.

He said: “If mobile coverage really is a serious issue locally (which we seriously doubt), why are Vodafone and Telefonica not looking at alternative ways of delivering that coverage?

“The high-power, high tower model is, in many people’s view, a busted flush.”

A spokeswoman for Vodafone said the company had “good” coverage in Kingston but said the company often came up against “community opposition” when it tried to improve signal.

She said:  “One of the issues we face is the difficulty in securing sites or gaining permission to build [masts].

“We also come up against community opposition, and may receive rejections for mast planning applications.”