LONG-AWAITED Apperley Bridge railway station been hailed as a soaraway success for the Bradford district and the wider region.

Around 400 passengers a day are now using the station and the 297 space car park fills up to 85 per cent capacity on weekdays.

Two trains per hour, between Leeds, or Bradford Forster Square and Skipton, pass through the station in each direction between Monday and Saturday and hourly on Sundays.

The station, which opened in December last year, was part of a £15.9m Rail Growth Package, approved by the Department of Transport in May 2014

That also included the new station at Kirkstall Forge which opened in June this year on the same line.

Tim Callow of the Aire Valley Rail Users’ Group said: “Lots of people are now using this excellent new service to go to work and schools in Bradford and Leeds and it’s been worth such a long wait.”

Apperley Bridge’s old train station, which opened in the 19th century, was closed as part of the Beeching cuts in 1965.

The new station includes modern waiting shelters, secure cycle parking, CCTV security cameras, and fully accessible platforms with staircases and ramps.

New bus services are also running from the station, giving passengers from Greengates, Idle, Thorpe Edge and Eccleshill, public transport links to the railway network.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “We expected the new station to be a great success and the numbers are proving those predictions true.

“The station has provided a cleaner, greener way of moving between Leeds, Bradford and Skipton, reducing traffic congestion on local roads and giving people a sustainable method of commuting.”

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “I’m delighted that the station is proving so popular.”

A Northern spokesperson comments: “Customers have benefitted from the large car park and excellent bus links as well as a modern technology giving the real time train running information on and free Wi-Fi on our electric trains.”