Drivers who break down on more than 5,000 miles of Britain’s roads cannot call for help because there is no mobile phone coverage, according to a new study.

Some 5,540 miles of road – representing about 2 per cent of all roads – do not have coverage for calls from any of the country’s four mobile networks, the RAC Foundation found.

The top 10 local authorities most affected include Highland (910 miles), Powys (411 miles) and Argyll and Bute (388 miles).

A further 44,368 miles of road have only partial voice coverage, with not all operators providing a signal. This is 18 per cent of all roads.

The research was based on analysis of data published by communications regulator Ofcom.

Steve Gooding, RAC Foundation director, said mobile coverage has improved across the network, adding: “On our motorways, which carry around a fifth of all traffic, every mile should now have voice and basic data coverage plus a 4G signal for all but a couple of miles.

“As rapidly as the technology has advanced, so too have our expectations of enjoying uninterrupted connectivity.”