A LONG-awaited railway station car park has opened – nearly four years after it was originally scheduled for completion.

The new multi-storey facility at Steeton and Silsden Station was initially due to be operational by October, 2020, but the scheme was plagued by setbacks – and soaring costs.

The discovery on the site of casings from a Second World War munitions factory, and the building area's close proximity to the live railway line, were amongst the obstacles encountered.

But construction work eventually got underway in 2022.

Now the £7 million development – which is part of West Yorkshire Combined Authority's Rail Park and Ride Programme, designed to increase access to train services through more station parking, as well as helping to reduce congestion and carbon emissions – has welcomed its first vehicles.

The combined authority has worked with train operator Northern and Bradford Council to provide the free-to-use car park.

There are 245 parking spaces – an increase of 104 on the previous provision – including a number of bays for blue-badge holders, and a lift to all levels.

Lighting is installed throughout, together with support for future electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and a new footpath provides a link to nearby Station Road.

West Yorkshire mayor, Tracy Brabin, describes the car park as "a fantastic addition to the railway station and wider area".

She adds: "It will encourage more people to use the train and leave their cars at the station, reducing congestion and pollution in the area and helping us towards our ambition of becoming a net zero carbon region by 2038.

"I am delighted that we are delivering on schemes like this to help create a greener, better-connected West Yorkshire."

Kerry Peters, regional director of Northern, says: "We are really pleased to see that the car park has opened, as it will allow more people to leave their vehicles at the station and enjoy a fast and affordable train journey to the likes of Leeds, Bradford and Skipton on one of our services.

"The £7 million investment from the combined authority has provided our customers with a fantastic new facility that is free to use, safe and accessible."

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s executive member for regeneration, planning and transport, says: "The new multi-storey car park makes it much easier and more appealing for commuters to take the train from Steeton and Silsden and the nearby surrounding areas."