A long-awaited railway station at Low Moor, Bradford, moved a step closer yesterday when planning permission was granted.
The £10.5 million station on the Caldervale line between Bradford and Halifax is on course to open next year.
It will be built off New Works Road, Low Moor, with a link to the Spen Valley Greenway cycle route. The plan submitted by Network Rail also includes 123 car parking spaces, eight spaces for disabled drivers and ten spots for cycles.
Bradford Council, transport authority Metro and Northern Rail have all supported the scheme.
Dave Stevens, chairman of the Friends of Low Moor Railway Station, said: “We are absolutely delighted. I know there were more than 100 letters of support from local people – and not just from Low Moor but from Wibsey, Cleckheaton, Odsal, Wyke, Oakenshaw, all round south Bradford. It really will make a huge difference.
“It has been a long wait.”
The Council’s transport boss Councillor Val Slater also welcomed the news, but said the next task was campaigning for the line to be electrified to boost capacity.
Coun Slater said they also needed to secure some parcels of land before Network Rail could start work.
She said: “It will make quite a difference to the people of south Bradford. Initially, it’s only going to be one train an hour, but that is a start.
“We now have to push forward trying to bring forward the electrification of the Caldervale line. We are getting some encouraging signals from Network Rail and the Department for Transport, so that would give us the capacity to do more than one train an hour.”
Councillor James Lewis, chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority transport committee, described the decision as “excellent news”.
He said: “We can now press ahead and remain on schedule for an opening date to coincide with the introduction of the new rail timetable in December 2015.”
The planning application attracted 109 letters of support and only one objection.
British Transport Police said while it did not object to the scheme, it wanted to see a safe and secure car park built, with height restriction barriers installed to prevent it from “becoming an unauthorised overnight truck stop”.
Planning officer Malcolm Joy said these issues raised were “not insurmountable”.