TRANSPORT chiefs say they remain "confident" that a new railway station in Bradford will be ready to open on Sunday, despite the fact it had still to receive the necessary safety clearance last night.

The £10 million Apperley Bridge station is built and timetables with new services are ready to be introduced but the site had not yet been given final approval from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

An ORR spokesman said yesterday that the station would be ready for its scheduled opening this weekend, but one councillor described the continuing doubts as "incredibly frustrating".

The new station - which will be the first to open in West Yorkshire since Glasshoughton in February 2005 - was scheduled to open in August, but the completion date was then put back to the autumn.

Prior to Sunday's revised opening date being announced, Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley), the Liberal Democrat group leader on Bradford Council, said she had been seeking answers from rail bosses to explain the reason behind the hold-up.

"All the timetables are ready, so the delays are just incredibly frustrating," she said yesterday.

"There appears to be a wall of silence from the Combined Authority and Network Rail, and people need to be better informed.

"It is a straight line, so has the platform been built in the wrong place, or too high or too low?

"Surely it should be relatively straightforward.

"It is beginning to look more and more like a serious problem, and people are growing more suspicious that something is wrong."

A spokesman for the ORR confirmed last night that final safety certificates had yet to be signed off.

"Our inspectors are still working on it, but we are confident that the certificates will be granted and we fully expect the station to be able to open on time for Sunday," he said.

A spokesman for Network Rail said it was still awaiting approval from the ORR, and a spokesman for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which oversees public transport, said it was hoping to confirm Sunday's opening date as soon as it could.

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.

Two trains per hour between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square or Skipton are scheduled to call at the new station in each direction from Monday to Saturdays, with an hourly service on Sundays.

In a statement announcing the December 13 opening date last month, Mark Tarry, route managing director for Network Rail, had said: "We know how important this is to the local community to improve access to jobs and education, as well as travel for leisure.

"We are pleased services will soon be able to call at the station."