The Digital Radio Working Group has called for the government to set out conditions and a plan to move all radio services over to digital.

The DRWG believes that the current system – which embraces both analogue and Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) - is putting unsustainable financial pressures on radio stations who feel the need to broadcast on both, and that the current DAB reach of 90% must be extended.

7 million sales

"At the end of May this year, sales of DAB sets exceeded seven million," said DRWG chairman Barry Cox.

"We believe radio must have a digital future and that this will benefit both listeners and industry.

"Audiences will be able to enjoy increased functionality and more choice of channels, while the industry will no longer have to sustain the increased transmission costs of broadcasting on multiple platforms."

DAB simply has not had the expected impact since its launch, with many citing the lack of a 'cut-off' date, something that the digital switchover of television has benfited from, as a major factor.

However, the government has already made it clear that it expects to switch over from the still-popular analogue radio to DAB in the not-too-distant future.

"Millions of people are already enjoying the benefits of digital radio,"saidculture secretary Andy Burnham recently."I believe that radio must have a digital future if it is to remain relevant."