The plug has been pulled on a cable company based in Croydon two months earlier than planned.

Cable 17 was a local channel covering news and events in five south London boroughs including Croydon, Merton, Sutton and Richmond. On Friday March 9, the 15 members of staff at the channel on Factory Road, Croydon were given half a days notice of the closure by Telewest.

The channel was due to end on May 1 but Telewest brought forward the closure replacing Cable 17 with a text service.

One disappointed viewer Alex Potter, of Peterborough Road, Carshalton, said: “Now it is just adverts for lots of different things, rather like the Guardian's classified pages.

“There is no news or What's On sections.

“On the Thursday evening they told us what was on Friday's show but the next day when we turned it on the screen just said This channel has a difficulty we are aware of it.' On the Saturday it was replaced with this text messaging service and that was it.”

The replacement was described by a spokesman for Telewest.

He said: “The local service broadcasts an enhanced text service, mixing photography and graphics with a variety of editorial content We are discussing these changes with employees and are offering career support services.”