The local Liberal Democrat MP, Michael Moore, said it meant rural viewers were getting "Freeview lite" and followed the controversial decision by ITV and Ofcom to cut regional news and current affairs coverage, and allow Border TV's news to merge with Tyne-Tees.
"This is excluding large chunks of the country - it's a very bad principle to establish," he said. "There's a principle here, that people in rural Britain are somehow allowed to be second class citizens. To some people this may seem a relatively small issue but it's symbolic of a wider issue - the neglect of rural Britain by this government."
(The article is wrong about FIVE, of course, it is moving to Multiplex 1 at switchover).