Bus users in Otley are missing out on a £1.64 million security programme being introduced by transport bosses - because the town's station is privately owned.

The West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority has approved the scheme to provide CCTV cameras, customer help points and better lighting at all Metro bus stations in West Yorkshire - including nearby Ilkley.

But passengers using Otley's bus station won't benefit because it is owned by London-based firm TBI plc, which also owns the Orchard Gate shopping complex attached to the bus station.

Ward councillor Phil Coyne (Lab, Otley and Wharfedale) said it was a shame that the bus station - which is frequently the scene of vandalism and anti-social behaviour - would not be improved.

"What I have been seeking in Otley bus station is real-time information on a screen, because it is critical that people know if the buses are running or not."

Coun Coyne said the only way to achieve that for Otley passengers would be for Metro and TBI plc to work together.

However, the cost of fitting high quality CCTV would have to be met by tenants of the shopping complex, according to Jack Peacock, of Orchard Gate agents Murrays.

Mr Peacock said that while a shared scheme with Metro would help reduce the overall cost, he felt tenants might baulk at paying for improvements they would not directly benefit from: "We would like the bus company to make improvements but it would only be the passengers who would benefit from them," he said.

A spokesman for Metro said the programme of security measures at Ilkley could start in April or May this year.

It will include high quality colour CCTV cameras linked to a central control room in Leeds; improved lighting to ensure that good quality pictures can be taken; emergency help points at which customers can have a two-way conversation with the control room while under surveillance.

Work has already begun in setting up the control room which Metro hopes will be in operation by the end of this year.

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