BRADFORD'S newest train station is on track to be up-and-running this summer.

The under-construction £10m station, at Apperley Bridge, will open to passengers in five months' time, 50 years after the old station there was closed.

Yesterday, local MP David Ward and ward councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) were given a tour of the site, off Apperley Lane, to see how work was progressing.

Contractors from construction firm Spencer said the build was on-target for its end-of-August opening, with the passenger platforms, 300-space car park and access road now well under way.

Dan Guiher, Network Rail commercial scheme sponsor, said: "The progress every time I am here is astounding. I look forward to coming back in a month and seeing the platform surfaces in."

He said as part of the design, they had been able to keep three established oak trees, which would sit near some new ponds dug to collect run-off rainwater.

He said: "That was one of our intentions - to leave the site as green as we possibly could."

The new station is being funded by the Department for Transport, with some cash from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Once it is up-and-running, it will have one train an hour in each direction on the Bradford to Leeds line, with the potential to increase this if passenger numbers grow.

Apperley Bridge's old train station closed because of the Beeching Axe in 1965. Plans to re-open it were first announced in 1999, although years of delays followed.

Mr Ward, Liberal Democrat MP for Bradford East, said the station had been a long time coming and would be a "big boost to the area".

He said: "It is great to see it actually happening. I was a ward councillor for this area for many years and this was something we campaigned on year after year after year.

"At times we did wonder whether it would actually happen."

Cllr Sunderland quizzed rail bosses about how safe the unstaffed station would be, especially at night, and was told it would be well-lit with a live-monitored CCTV system.

She said: "It is a lonely bit of the world. I'm now assured it will be a safe place to come.

"I come back to Bradford late at night, so this would be the station I would use and I would want to feel safe."

Cllr Sunderland said she hoped the railway station would alleviate congestion on some of the area's busy roads.

She said: "Local roads are really badly congested. Part of having a railway station is to encourage people to get out of their cars and onto the railways for their journey to work, and this has good access for Leeds and Bradford."