A representative from a group bidding to run Keighley’s rail link with London has been in town to hear people’s views on how it should be operated.

FirstGroup is one of three companies applying to run the East Coast mainline franchise, which is currently nationalised.

The route is also subject to a joint bid from Eurostar and French firm Keolis, and a bid from Virgin and Stagecoach.

Graham Meiklejohn, of FirstGroup’s bid team, fielded questions and recommendations at Keighley Civic Centre.

He had been invited to attend the meeting by Keighley Town Council’s watch & transport committee.

As well as town councillors, others present included representatives from Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, Bradford Civic Society, Aire Valley Rail Users’ Group, Keighley Rotary Club and the Airedale Shopping Centre.

Watch & transport chairman Coun Graham Mitchell said: “It was a very good meeting. Everyone felt they had an opportunity to express their views and the discussion went on for a good hour.

“We have significant housing development proposed for the Aire and Worth valleys, so the market for this rail link is increasing.

“Mr Meiklejohn said the information he got out of the meeting was exactly the kind of thing he needed to know and he’ll now be reporting back to his bid team.

“I’m pleased that as a town council we’ve been able to do something positive for our community.”

Among the suggestions put to Mr Meiklejohn was the point that the direct Keighley to London morning rail service arrives in the capital too late for people attending morning business appointments.

He was also told about the need for a direct, northbound early morning service from London to Keighley to attract more visitors from the capital to Keighley and Bronte Country.