PLANS to extend car parking at Steeton and Silsden railway station could be scuppered by lack of available land, a ward councillor has warned.

Steeton Parish Council chairman, Cllr David Mullen, said earlier attempts to provide much-needed spaces faltered due to the shortage of suitable land nearby.

He feared expensive work may be needed to provide extra spaces on the existing three car parks, such as building an extra level with a ramp.

Silsden councillor, Adrian Naylor, said: “The problem is there’s no land. There’s only one field and it’s on a flood plain.”

Cllr Mullen’s warning came this week after it was revealed Steeton and Silsden station was one of 16 stations earmarked for possible car park expansion as part of the multi-million pound West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund.

The scheme aims to give more people access to regional and national railway networks, support job creation in towns and cities and particularly benefit commuters.

Feasibility studies at the stations are expected to be completed by March, but work will only go ahead at each station if a “deliverable and affordable” design can be drawn up.

The need is particularly great at Steeton and Silsden station, which is one of the most heavily-used car parks in West Yorkshire, attracting 600,000 vehicles per year.

There are only about 200 spaces in the station’s three car parks, leaving Steeton residents facing parking misery as commuters fill all available spots in nearby streets.

News of the station’s potential expansion was this week cautiously welcomed by both Cllr Mullan and Cllr Naylor, but they warned of the difficulties involved.

Both politicians were heavily involved in a campaign to get the Steeton station car parks expanded seven years ago.

Cllr Mullen said: “As parish councils, we did a surveys of users. We gathered hard evidence to show there was a need.

“Various potential solutions came up, including a double-decker car park. They were talking about a cost of £5,000 per new parking space.”

Cllr Naylor said he is concerned extra parking spaces intended to encourage local people to travel by train would be snatched by commuters from outside the area.

He added: “They’re coming over the border from Lancashire and North Yorkshire to take advantage of Metro cards and cheaper fares.”

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