Disabled passengers will still face a half hour trek to catch their train even if a new 200 space car park is built.

If they can't make the half mile trip to get to the Leeds-Bradford platform at Steeton and Silsden railway station (see graphic), they are forced to catch a train going in the opposite direction, so they can swap platforms more easily further up the line.

At the moment disabled passengers can't take the most direct route - taking only a few minutes - because of a flight of 40 steps up and 40 steps down from the car park to the Leeds-Bradford platform.

Now, disabled travellers are demanding action to put a car park on both sides of the station.

But a spokesman for the county transport body Metro said to create a car park on the Bradford side would be "an expensive job" because the land is on a flood plain and would need raising.

The plan for a new car park on the Skipton side should stop commuters, who travel from North Yorkshire and Lancashire, from parking on streets and angering residents in the two villages.

Cllr David Mullen, who is disabled, from Steeton with Eastburn Parish Council, said that if the car park was built, the extra spaces would be of big benefit to the area, but would not help the disabled.

He said: "Steeton is just like one big car park at the moment. People are coming in from as far away as Burnley. They all come into Steeton because that is where the Metro fares start, and there is quite a difference in cost between there and further up."

But he said that, even with the new parking, the railway would still effectively function as two separate stations for disabled people.

Because there are no parking facilities on the Leeds/Bradford bound side of the station, disabled passengers currently face two unappealing choices.

They can park on the Skipton-bound side and get to the correct platform via the station access road. They have to go over the railway bridge, across Station Road, up to the roundabout and down the disabled access route - a distance of about half a mile. Or, they can get on a Skipton-bound train and switch platforms in Skipton to catch the correct train to Leeds or Bradford.

Because the Steeton station has no facilities such as disabled lifts or ramps across the track, wheelchair users returning from Skipton are faced with the same problems.

Cllr Mullen, said: "As you are now, you have the station car park on one side, and if you are wanting to go to Leeds you have to go over the road and down to the other platform."

Diane Dale, project co-ordinator for support volunteering at Keighley Volunteer Service, said it was important for disabled people to have good access to public transport so that they can partake in the same everyday activities as able-bodied people.

She said: "Some of the people we work with are physically disabled and it is important for us because the volunteers we work with have to get to their placements and for that they need public transport.

"It is imperative that people can get to the same places you and I can."

But a spokesman for county transport body Metro said the land nearby is on a flood plain, so to create a car park for disabled users at the other side of the station, the land would need to be raised, which is an expensive job.

Metro added: "We will be attending a meeting with the rail industry, local council and representatives of the company which owns the nearby land and wants to construct a car park."

The car park is planned for an area currently owned by Airedale Tree Surgeons.

At a Joint Transport Working Party - which includes the town councils of both Silsden and Steeton - disabled access was highlighted as an issue that still needs to be addressed.

Craven ward councillor Adrian Naylor, who chaired the meeting, said: "The concept is a good one but many issues still need to be resolved, such as how vehicles will enter and exit the site.

"There are currently two suggestions, either a one-way system, or widening the current entrance to allow two lanes of traffic to exit the site and one to enter.

"Other issues discussed concerned pedestrian safety and the possible need for a crossing, access for disabled users and the need for improved lights."