A NEW era for radio listeners will be ushered in this week when a new digital network is switched on.

The new Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radio transmitters, which will serve Herefordshire and Worcestershire, will be turned on by West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin and former Worcester Warriors stalwart Craig Gillies during a ceremony on Friday.

It will take place at the club’s Sixways Stadium and the switch-on will mean local radio broadcasts can now be heard in crystal-clear quality on DAB digital radios as well as over the traditional frequencies.

Mrs Baldwin said: “This marks an important new era for local radio offering listeners better quality both at home and in the car.

“Local radio plays an important role in our community and often it is the best way to keep in touch with breaking news in the region.”

The new transmitters, which are at Ridge Hill and Malvern, will broadcast BBC Hereford and Worcester, Free Radio and Sunshine Radio on a digital platform to 532,000 in the two counties.

The stations will be broadcasting live from the event between 8am and 9om during their breakfast shows.

* Digital radio can be listened to in a number of ways: DAB digital radio, online and on TV.

* Digital radio sets give access to FM stations and a wide range of digital-only stations.

* They offer hiss and crackle-free sound.

* Tune in by the station’s name, not number.

* On-screen displays provide you with track and artist listings so you know what you’re listening to.

* Some digital radios even allow you to pause and rewind so you don’t miss a thing, with some having the option to record or plan programmes.

* National commercial digital radio is available to 90 per cent of the UK population and BBC national services are available to 93 per cent.