ANSWERS are being demanded as more delays plague a £4.6 million car park scheme – which should have seen work start over a year ago.

Yet another scheduled date for a beginning to the Steeton & Silsden railway station project has passed.

Now pressure is growing on West Yorkshire Combined Authority to explain what's happening with the venture, to build a three-storey station car park on the site of the existing one – creating an extra 104 spaces.

In December the authority gave a latest start date of March, 2021. But still nothing has happened.

And in a new statement issued this week in response to an approach from the Keighley News, it said work was "due to begin in the coming months".

Craven ward district councillor Adrian Naylor says the situation is unacceptable and that the combined authority needs to commit to a start date.

He is also concerned about where displaced vehicles will be parked when work eventually does begin.

Cllr Naylor said: "In December, 2019, the combined authority put-up notices telling car park users that construction work would be starting after Christmas.

"Fifteen months on we are no closer to seeing a start date – all we have seen is the costs go up from £3,879,000 to £4,630,800.

"In addition there is the critical point about where cars will park whilst the construction work, which is due to last at least a year, takes place."

He said that in early 2019 he and fellow ward councillor Rebecca Whitaker, together with Steeton-with-Eastburn Parish Council chairman David Mullen, had taken part in meetings with combined authority officials when the need for alternative temporary parking provision during the work was stressed.

"West Yorkshire Combined Authority asked us for help in identifying alternative car-parking locations – which we did," said Cllr Naylor.

"The only viable alternative was the Airedale Tree Surgeons wood yard. Unfortunately it appears there has been a lack of communication and joined-up thinking between the combined authority and Bradford Council as Bradford recently refused a planning application for the wood yard to be used as a car park. This leaves a potential parking crisis in Steeton.

"I want to know when the combined authority plans to start construction and where it and Bradford Council propose to put the displaced cars during construction. This is critical to residents as Bradford Council is also introducing a residents-only parking scheme to help alleviate parking issues at Airedale Hospital, so there will be nowhere for the cars to go.

"This could also lead to congestion at other stations which are already at capacity."

Cllr Mullen says the past year, when numbers using trains have been down due to lockdown, would have been an ideal time to do the work.

"I wrote to the combined authority at the start of lockdown suggesting it would be a good time to carry out the construction work – although of course we didn't know then how long lockdown would continue – and I never got a reply," he said.

A West Yorkshire Combined Authority spokesman said this week: "The new car park at Steeton and Silsden, which is fully designed and approved, will improve access to the station by providing a further 104 spaces – including three additional blue badge bays – and improved cycle stands and will provide the necessary infrastructure for electric vehicle charging bays.

"We can confirm that works are due to begin in the coming months and further details will be announced shortly.

"Working with Bradford Council and Northern Rail we will be making sure people are aware of the work and can plan their journeys accordingly."