Punters can pull their own pints at a bar which claims to be the first help yourself' pub in the country.

Queuing is a thing of the past at the new Tapped bar in Otley, thanks to a concept that puts beer taps on the tables and allows people to help themselves after pre-paying for their drinks.

Computer software allows drinkers to order a set amount of beer - after which the beer tap switches off.

Tapped is the brainchild of owners Ryan Blackburn, 23, and Dave McKendrick, 45, who both got sick of waiting at bars for a pint.

Ryan was inspired two years ago when he found the system in Spain.

"I went to see a friend who was an exchange student in Malaga and there were a couple of pubs that had this," he said.

"I came back home and did some research and found no-one here was doing it."

While the table taps are great news for punters, however, critics fear the system could lead to more drinkers ending up the worse for wear.

Chairman of Leeds Council's licensing and regulatory panel, Councillor Ronald Feldman, said: "How do you monitor drunkenness? It's the licensee's responsibility not to serve anyone who is drunk.

"I don't think it would meet with a great deal of favour - particularly not with the police. Somewhere along the line there needs to be some monitoring of what goes on."

Co-landlord Mr McKendrick insisted having pumps on the tables is just the same as having pumps on the bar.

"The only difference is people don't have to queue up," he said.

"We can disable the pump at any time. It is not free flow. If it was free flow we would be contravening every law under the sun.

"The beer is dispensed in half-pint measures. If we do end up with someone who wants to order alcohol and is unfit to be served, the same rules apply as in any other pub - we would not serve them."

Ryan said the bar was booming as students returned home for Christmas.

He said the bar would have bouncers on the doors, and there was no danger of under-age drinkers taking advantage of the system.

"We are with Pubwatch, and if you look under 21 you will get checked if you want any drink," he said.

e-mail: fiona.evans@bradford.newsquest.co.uk