CAMPAIGNERS in Berkshire have welcomed the BBC's U-turn decision to suspend the red button switch-off.

The BBC said they planned to close the text part of their red button service within the next few weeks with changes beginning tomorrow (January 30).

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This would mark the end of reading headlines, sports scores, weather, travel and more which caused upset amongst many across the country.

The BBC has today announced they have suspended the switch off just days after a petition was handed into the BBC and Downing Street by the National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK).

This decision has been welcomed by the Chief Executive of Age UK Berkshire, Fiona Price, who signed NFBUK's petition on behalf of the charity.

Ms Price explained she welcomes the BBC's decision but wants the service to be kept as a long-term solution, expressing her fears for the older generation.

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She explained many older people don't have access to the internet or can't go out and buy a paper making the red button service "really important" to them as it allows them to keep up-to-date with the news.

Reading resident, Paul Walmsley, 72, was also pleased with the BBC's decision explaining he was "very glad" they had listened to the people.

The pensioner, who doesn't have access to the internet at home, revealed he uses the red button service daily mainly for sports updates and finds it "very useful".

He said: "It’s the only way you can get everything apart from getting a smart phone."

If the red button text service is cancelled, Mr Walmsley will have to upgrade his phone so he can access the internet but explained this will double his monthly bill adding "pensioners find it hard to survive anyway".

Spearheading the NFBUK's petition is Sarah Gayton — the shared space coordinator for the charity — who visited Downing Street on Monday (January 27) to hand in the petition.

She said the charity is "absolutely overwhelmed" with the news to suspend the switch-off.

She added they are "very grateful this decision has been made".

It means older people and disabled people can continue to use the "life line".