A GROUP of Otley councillors have enjoyed a fact-finding visit to a bus company's local control centre.

Town Councillors Linda Hoare, Penny Robinson and Sylvia Thomson were shown around the First Bus facility in Bradford.

The trio were welcomed by Head of External Relations Brandon Jones, who has previously attended Otley council meetings to discuss concerns about some services.

Cllr Robinson (Lib Dem, Ashfield) said: "Watching one of the operators monitor and control the movement of buses across Leeds on his five computer screens, while responding to telephone calls and e-mails, gave us a new insight into the complexity of the operation.

"We felt as if we were observing an air traffic controller at work!"

Cllr Hoare (Lib Dem, West Chevin) said: "The controllers track every movement of every bus in the area and are keen to communicate all information to the public quickly and efficiently.

"Whilst acknowledging that problems occur from time to time, they aim to mitigate the effects of these as far as possible.

"They stressed that passengers with smartphones should use the free First Bus app, the easiest and most convenient method of keeping up to date with bus movements."

Cllr Thomson (Lib Dem, Ashfield) added: "It was a very interesting visit to the control centre, providing an insight into the complexities of keeping the buses moving around Leeds."

First Bus' local services include the X84 (Leeds to Skipton) and 33/33A (Leeds to Otley).