BUILDING work on the new Steeton to Silsden railway station car park has been hit by yet another delay.

Councillors were this week told that contractors – who were due to be on site this month – would not begin until at least April or May.

It is understood the delay has been caused by a legal agreement between the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which is funding the project, and Northern Rail, which controls the car park but will soon be stripped of its railway operating franchise by the Government.

News of the delay came as Airedale Tree Surgeons submitted a planning application for a rival car park on its land at the other side of the track.

The company has applied for permission to provide 221 car parking spaces, including seven for disabled drivers, along with four cycle spaces and 10 cycle spaces.

A spokesman for the company’s agents, surveyors David Hill said: “We have designed the car park to space standards and we feel that it provides a practical and logical solution to the car parking issues in that area.

“There is potential to easily access the car park under the bridge, which would give pedestrian access directly to the southbound platform without having to cross Station Road, and so we feel the proposal offers safety improvements too.”

The existing station car park, which has about 150 spaces, will be closed during the estimated 12 months will take to build the new multi-storey, 250-space car park on the same site.

The Airedale Tree Surgeons car park could provide both a temporary alternative while the existing car park is closed, and additional spaces once the multi-storey car park is finished.

The delay in starting the car park was this week branded “disgusting” by Steeton with Eastburn Parish Council chairman David Mullen.

He said: “We were told work was going to start this time last year and it didn’t. It’s just getting dragged on further and further. The money is there, the plans are drawn up, why don’t they just get on with it?”

Cllr Adrian Naylor believes the delay is because “nobody has a clue what’s going on” until Northern’s contract is taken over by the Government.

He added: “I’ve been told by West Yorkshire Combined Authority that it will be at least a month before we could get a start date, and that date could be several months away.”

Another district councillor, Rebecca Whitaker, said residents were now asking whether the project would ever start at all.

She said: “Trying to get information from West Yorkshire Combined Authority is almost impossible.”

Cllr Whitaker said she was continuing to push for a shuttle bus to take passengers to the station while the car park car park was closed.