A voluntary group set up to improve Steeton and Silsden Railway Station hopes to bag £40,000 of funding to provide much-needed access for the disabled to a platform.

In January 2008 the Keighley News reported on the difficulty disabled people faced trying to access the Bradford-Leeds bound platform of the railway station, with a flight of 40 steps and crash barriers standing in the way. Instead passengers with wheelchairs and prams are forced on a dangerous alternative route crossing busy traffic and a roundabout.

With no parking facilities on the Leeds-Bradford bound side of the station, disabled passengers currently have to park on the Skipton-bound side and tackle a railway bridge, Station Road and a roundabout before they can get down the disabled access route – a distance taking around half an hour. But for the past two years the Joint Transport Working Group has collected more than £30,000 in funding to improve disability access and it has just finished applying for a further £40,000 from the South Pennine LEADER fund to go ahead with the changes.

Working group chairman Craven ward councillor Andrew Mallinson, said: “We are confident in that the points we have raised fit the criteria so on those grounds we are very hopeful of obtaining the grant.

“It is important to provide disabled access for passengers, but also to reduce the risk of injury or fatality by having to cross a busy junction and deal with a roundabout.”