The future of Fresh Radio was once again thrown into doubt this week.

Non-stop music followed the troubled Skipton-based radio station's breakfast show every day this week.

It is believed that the station was forced to play an automated music selection after most of its presenters walked out some time around the middle of last week.

Listeners were left with just the breakfast show presenter - station manager Julian Hotchkiss - and news editor James Wilson on air from 7am to 10am.

Listeners' calls to the station were left unanswered and rubbish has piled up outside the offices in Firth Mill, Firth Street.

Laser Broadcasting, which bought the radio station last year, would not say whether presenters had left; it would only say that staff contracts were under negotiation.

Listener Eric Bishop, who tried to contact Laser, said only the breakfast show had been aired since Wednesday last week.

"I have been in contact with several other listeners and all have expressed considerable distress at the loss of their favourite radio station over the week," he said.

Former presenter Mike Long claimed presenters had walked out after not being paid.

"The team at Fresh have done their best to remain loyal through some incredibly difficult times," he said.

He added that rumours were rife in the radio industry of problems with Laser.

"Ever since Fresh Radio was taken over by Laser Broadcasting the station has been on a downward spiral," he said.

"Laser like to proclaim loudly about how they are committed to local radio but, from their actions, it seems to me that the complete opposite is true."

Mr Long, who walked out in November after 10 years as a presenter, said: "Everyone who has worked at Fresh Radio over the years was incredibly proud of their station and worked really hard to give the Yorkshire Dales a radio station to be proud of. This is a very sad day for local radio in the Dales."

In March, a winding-up order for Fresh Radio Ltd was announced in the London Gazette, but Laser said a new company had been formed and there was no question of the station not continuing.

The station also suspended live broadcasting for a while during March, which Laser put down to problems with the transmitter.

But Chris Parkin, the station's former chairman, who now supplies transmitting equipment, including to Fresh Radio, denied that.

"Some months ago it was reported that there had been troubles with the transmitters being turned off and it was suggested that there were technical problems," he said.

"There were no technical difficulties. There may have been other problems, but they were not technical problems," he said.

Stuart Linnell, Laser's operations director, said the company was currently working out new licences affecting all radio stations to do with the amount of news broadcast.

He denied there had been any break in service and was not willing to discuss the position of presenters, other than to say contracts were being negotiated.

He added that Fresh Radio remained an "extremely viable business".