SIR - As a Skiptonian for 31 years who regularly uses public transport, I have become increasingly ashamed of our bus station - a plastic wind tunnel of smashed doors, chewing gum filled floors and the most uncomfortable seating imaginable.

Compared to our nearest town of Keighley it is a disgrace. It is dirty, has no bins inside (and people wonder why litter is everywhere), it has timetables taped to plastic boards and windows, and seats and floors that (look like) they haven't seen a clean since Pennine Buses ceased operations there.

Until recently, two of the automatic doors were broken and the glass was smashed, which took almost two months to repair, as a council run station, surely they check their property very regularly? The doors have been replaced with something so thin it is reminiscent of school toilet paper and the broken glass hasn't even been swept up and lays in a pile by door seven. Why anyone who fixed the smashed glass didn't see fit to actually clearing it away from a public area is beyond me.

The most disgraceful of all is the fact that unless you are on the forecourt side of the shelter, three of the automatic doors do not open from the inside, (one of them doesn't open at all) meaning someone has to walk round the front of the stand right next to the buses and trigger the sensor to let people on (something which I often do as I pass the bus station to help confused tourists). If you are disabled or in a wheelchair, there is no step free access to get on the bus unless the bus departs from a different door, - where often, another bus is already picking it's passengers up. To make such problems for people in wheelchairs is an utter shambles, and more worryingly, a breach of the disability discrimination act, as well as a health and safety risk.

Ironically, the sign in the bus station to greet tourists says 'Welcome to Skipton', which is all good and proper if you can actually get off the bus and into the station without having to walk in between the front of the bus and the shelter window! As 'Britain's best high street' and 'The best place to live in Britain' winner in recent years, Skipton Bus station is haemorrhaging our chances to be revered in such a way again. Craven District Council really needs to act on this urgently, on so many levels as from my many trips to the station over recent months to liaise with other bus users, it is an unacceptable embarrassment to the town.

Liam Shaw.


A spokesman for Craven District Council responded: "We are aware of a number of issues at the bus station and we are taking action to tackle the problems. The operation of the doors is checked at least three times per week and the door mechanisms are frequently reset, which is often necessary if they have been forced or interrupted in operation. Delays in repairs (in particular the glass panels) have been as a result of the repair company ceasing trading. This has resulted in longer lead times than would be usual, discussions are however underway with alternative suppliers.

We have spoken with the bus companies about the timetables and are working with them to ensure that in future these are displayed inside the cabinets provided.

As part of the operational checks a cleanliness audit is being instigated to ensure any issues are acted upon with the appropriate council services. We hope these actions will help improve the bus station for all users."