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New afternoon show for Surrey

BBC Southern Counties Radio have re-introduced local services for audiences in Surrey and Sussex.

The Reigate Hill Transmitter will once more cover North East Surrey and a new three-hour drivetime show presented by Mark Carter will launch for Surrey.

New Managing Editor of BBC Southern Counties Radio, Nicci Holliday, has announced that from 16 October the Reigate Hill Transmitter will once more cover North East Surrey and a new three-hour drivetime show will launch for Surrey.

Following changes in spring of this year, parts of Surrey got a less local service than they had in previous years and this resulted in requests from all quarters of the audience to change the transmitter pattern back to what it had been previously.

Nicci Holliday explained: "The decision implemented earlier this year to switch Reigate Hill to the Sussex feed was taken in good faith by BBC management to ensure that listeners in Crawley, the county town of Sussex, had access to news and travel information for Sussex.

"However, the reaction from the audience has proved that this wasn't as popular a move as we'd anticipated, as those listening in North East Surrey felt they were receiving information that wasn't particularly relevant to them.

"After careful consideration and taking all factors into the equation, we do feel that the Reigate Hill transmitter should take the Surrey feed and that the public service duty to provide Surrey with a local service is the over-riding consideration.

"It also gives us an opportunity to provide a more dedicated service for both Sussex and Surrey and provide a stronger local news and information service to both counties.

"This, combined with the launch of a new three-hour drivetime show with presenter Mark Carter for the county, shows Southern Counties Radio's increasing commitment to Surrey."

The decision has been welcomed by Peter McCallum of the Local Radio Advisory Council, who said: "We welcome this decision as a sensible solution to listeners' concerns."

Listeners in Sussex outside of Crawley will continue to receive the Southern Counties Sussex schedule.

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