Moore welcomes BBC re-think

Borders MP Michael Moore has welcomed news that the BBC is to modify its plans to replace BBC radio services on freeview with BBC Alba TV at certain times of the day.

The BBC had planned to withdraw the 13 BBC radio services currently available on freeview during the evening in order to broadcast BBC Alba television.

However, due to concern expressed by listeners, the BBC has made space available to retain some of the radio services all day long, including at the time when BBC Alba is being aired.

The corporation has confirmed that it will retain the most popular home services which are not carried on FM . These are BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC 1Xtra and BBC 6 Music.

The BBC also stated last year that it is planning to extend its digital radio services in the Borders in 2011, with a new DAB transmitting station to be activated this autumn on Crumhaugh Hill in Hawick.

Mr Moore said: “I wrote to the BBC expressing my concern regarding their plans for BBC Alba which would have reduced the access which my constituents had to BBC radio via freeview.

“I therefore welcome the effort made by the BBC not only to promote BBC Alba but also to take into account the preference of their listeners.

“Their willingness to invest and make technical changes to enable these three popular radio stations to be aired alongside BBC Alba is certainly a welcome move for Borderers.”

The Roxburgh, Selkirk and Berwickshire MP went on: “It is vital that we are properly connected to digital services

“I have campaigned on this issue over many years. I therefore welcome the new station in Hawick which will improve digital radio coverage locally and I will continue to campaign for improvements in other services such as mobile phone and broadband.”