The Mayor of WEST Yorkshire said she understood commuters’ “frustration” after work began on a station car park – 18 months after the originally scheduled end date.
Work to create a multi-storey car park at Steeton and Silsden station will finally start next month and is expected to take a year.
The works will increase parking spaces at the station by 102 spaces – to provide a total of 245 spaces.
The station car park is regularly full before 9am, and there have been calls for better parking facilities for years.
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which is funding the project, said the new facilities would encourage more people to travel by train.
When the project was first announced, the expected end date was October 2020.
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But the scheme has been beset with delays and at a meeting of the Combined Authority at the end of 2020 it emerged that the cost of the scheme had risen from £3,879,000 to £4,630,800. Members were also informed that the work would likely not be completed until January 2022.
This schedule has since been rearranged and work is now due to begin this month and be completed in March 2023.
West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin said: “As a passionate advocate for rail travel and a commuter myself, I understand the frustration commuters have felt at the slow progress on car parking. Steeton and Silsden station. I can understand, however, that improvements, like this, can sometimes encounter significant obstacles and problems.
“I am however very pleased to be able to tell people who use Steeton and Silsden station that we can now begin the significant parking improvements at this station.
“In the Climate and Environment Plan for West Yorkshire, which I launched last year, I committed to achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest. Work at Steeton and Silsden Station will help reduce congestion and improve local air quality, bringing us one step closer to our economic ambition.” It also goes without saying that better access to public transport improves people’s employment, training and learning opportunities and, of course, their leisure activities.I welcome these improvements.
The construction of the new car park will result in the closure of the existing main car park for the 12 month construction period.
Part of the annex car park will remain open to station visitors, with around 40 spaces available. As there will be limited parking availability throughout the construction period, the Combined Authority urges station users to consider alternative arrangements and, if possible, walk or cycle to the station.