A chance to end a rail fare anomaly that has led to traffic chaos in Steeton and Silsden must be grasped, it is claimed.

Many North Yorkshire commuters drive into West Yorkshire to catch a train to take advantage of cheaper fares.

But John Grogan, Labour’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Keighley, said a new Northern Rail franchise for services on the Airedale line from 2016 would signal an opportunity for change.

“For the first time, the franchise will be awarded not just by the Department of Transport but in partnership with Rail North, which brings together 33 northern councils,” he said.

“This should mean there is a much greater chance for local campaigners to influence the details of the franchise.”

An annual season ticket from Skipton to Leeds costs £1,792, compared to £1,228 for Steeton and Silsden to Leeds.

“No wonder commuters drive to Steeton and Silsden from Skipton but it makes no environmental sense,” added Mr Grogan.

“The Passenger Transport Authority has announced a plan to double the size of the car park at Steeton and Silsden, but the danger is that improved parking alone will just encourage more commuters from North Yorkshire.”