The British Broadcasting Corporation are circulating a questionnaire to ascertain whether the public still listens to Radio 4’s Shipping Forecast

UPDATE February 19, 2014: Our survey regarding the shipping forecast has now closed.

A senior announcer with the BBC has thanked YM readers for taking the trouble to comment on the future of the BBC Radio 4 Shipping Forecast.

We ran the questionnaire, launched by the BBC to find out what listeners thought of the forecast, on our website. It followed fears that its future was under threat.

We had 637 responses, mostly from readers who wanted the forecast to remain, and we sent the data to the BBC. Radio 4’s Chris Aldridge, said: “It is fabulous, thank you so much. It will take a while for us to collate all the responses received, many people have sent me direct e-mails, I have over 400 to go through, but your data makes it much easier to analyse.

“Meanwhile please will you convey my thanks to all those who have taken the trouble to respond to your website?”

Members of the public are being asked to complete a

questionnaire about the BBC’s Shipping Forecast as part of its plans to assess its use.

Experts believe the days of the Shipping Forecast are

numbered as weather-seekers download predictions from the internet.

The general synopsis for the Shipping Forecast is stormy

weather, rough seas and poor visibility – if not imminent then soon, as experts

say it is just a question of time before the much-loved BBC Radio 4 service

goes off air.

Former Met Office forecaster Frank Singleton, reveals in the

January issue of Yachting Monthly: “The Shipping Forecast will, eventually,

have to cease. That is an inevitable consequence of digital radio and

maintenance costs of ageing equipment. The only uncertainty is when?”

Meanwhile, RYA cruising manager Stuart Carruthers said: “The

BBC are circulating a questionnaire as a cunning ruse to get the general public

to say they don’t listen to the forecast anymore – they get it all off the

internet.

“But when you don’t have the internet – like many yachts at

sea – then the radio broadcast is essential.”

BBC spokeswoman Laura Zetterberg denied the corporation was assessing the Shipping Forecast’s future. ‘Radio 4’s Shipping

Forecast is a much loved part of the schedule and there are no plans to change

it. Across the BBC we are always seeking audience feedback and periodically do

so with the Shipping Forecast too with the help of the Maritime and Coastguard

Agency. Last month a member of its safety information committee, The Royal

Yachting Association, put questions related to the Shipping Forecast to its

members and we greatly appreciate the responses that have been submitted so

far.’