West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has combined a new CCTV surveillance system with free public Wi-Fi in a group of bus stations around the region.
It has made the move as part of a £1.2 million scheme delivered with Leeds City Council.
This has involved connecting Bosch HD cameras at eight bus stations with the CCTV high speed fibre network, and using connections to improve the staff radio communications and provide Wi-Fi to travellers with West Yorkshire Metro.
They can obtain access, which has no limits on data or time, through a one-time registration which should ensure their device is then recognised at all of the relevant stations.
The joint project also involves installing 230 of the cameras around the region and an upgrade to WYCA’s CCTV monitoring centre in Leeds. The authority said it has begun to provide operational cost savings and will pay for itself within four years.
Councillor Kim Groves, chair of WYCA’s transport committee, said: “Passengers are increasingly used to having access to free Wi-Fi on buses and trains and we were keen to use the opportunity of upgrading our CCTV to provide people at our busiest bus stations with a similar service.”
She continued: “A tiny number of the 3 million-plus journeys made though our bus stations each year are affected by anti-social incidents, but we take them all very seriously and we know from what our customers and staff tell us our CCTV coverage helps them feel more secure.
“This upgrade will mean we can access better quality of CCTV coverage and images and the upgrade to a fully digital system is going to save the combined authority a five-figure sum every year, meaning it will pay for itself in four years.”
The bus stations affected are at Bradford, Castleford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield, Keighley, Leeds and Pontefract.
Brian Jackson, head of BT Surveillance, added that the network will enable the authority to develop smart city digital services in the future.
Image from WYCA