CAR-DRIVING commuters will be left high and dry when work begins next month on a long-awaited new 250-space multi-storey car park at Steeton & Silsden railway station.

Rail passengers have been told to make their own arrangements while the existing station car park is closed during the 12-month-long construction period.

Local councillors were this week left fuming about the lack of alternative parking facilities despite them highlighting concerns more than a year ago and suggesting potential temporary sites.

Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council chairman David Mullen said: “It’s disgusting. Where do you disperse 160 cars? There was supposed to be ‘breakaway’ car parking provided before any work began.

“They’re not only shutting the car park, they’re also putting double yellow lines on Steeton Grove near the station. They haven’t thought it through.”

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) and train operator Northern this week revealed that work on the car park was scheduled to begin in mid-February, and the existing car park had to be closed for the whole construction period.

The new three-deck structure will have more than 100 additional parking spaces including nine Blue Badge bays, along with low-energy LED lighting, enhanced CCTV, and a lift to the first and second floors.

A WYCA spokesman said: “Steeton & Silsden station is a popular station and the current car parking provision does not meet demand, which is why we need to carry out this scheme which will result in a significantly extended and improved facility for rail users.

“We realise this is going to be inconvenient for those people who drive to Steeton & Silsden, but the station’s location means there is no realistic alternative until the scheme is complete.

“We would urge people to think whether they can use other forms of transport, including cycling and walking, to travel to the station, or to consider catching the train from another station. We thank them in advance while we carry out the work to deliver these improvements.”

Adrian Naylor, who sits on Bradford and Silsden councils, welcomed the start date for work following a decade of campaigning for car park improvements.

But he said: “We met with the Combined Authority in January last year and spelled-out the most important issue was where people were going to park during the work.”

Another Silsden and Bradford councillor, Rebecca Whitaker, said it was disappointing no proper parking alternative had been found, and urged anyone walking to the station from Silsden to take care when crossing the busy Aire Valley Road.