ALMOST £3.9 million of funding to create a multi storey car park at a local rail station was approved yesterday.

Members of West Yorkshire Combined Authority agreed to move forward with plans to boost parking at Steeton and Silsden Station - and work is likely to start later this year.

The station's existing car park is usually full by 9am, and plans to boost capacity at the station have been in the pipeline for several years.

The most recent plan to solve the problem is to build a three storey car park on the site of the existing car park, creating an extra 104 places.

It will mean that when work is complete in October 2020, the station will have parking for 247 vehicles.

Yesterday members of the Combined Authority's West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee voted to approve £3.879 million funding from its Transport Fund towards the project.

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One Bradford Councillor said the scheme will encourage more people to use the station, taking car's off the district's roads.

Arriva Rail North will deliver the scheme on behalf of the Combined Authority.

The scheme will include new blue badge parking spaces, led lighting CCTV, electric car charging points and a lift.

A report to the committee said the project was "medium" value for money.

Touting the scheme's environmental impact, it said: "The scheme will support inclusive growth by improving the access and connectivity to employment and communities via public transport, as well as supporting better air quality with commuters choosing the train for onward journeys rather than car."

Lead Officer Sara Brook told the committee: "This will support increased capacity for the Airedale Line and help alleviate on street parking in the area."

She said use of the station was forecast to rise in the coming years, and that the car park was already operating at 90 per cent capacity by 9am.

Councillor Alex Ross Shaw, representing Bradford Council on the committee, said: "I'm keen to see this progress.

"The fact that the car park has 90 per cent occupancy by 9am shows the demand is there.

"We want to make sure that people feel they can get the station, park up and get the train, rather than get there, not be able to park and decide to drive the rest of the way to work."

The committee then approved the funding.

The Authority will now enter into a lease for Northern to use part of the Combined Authority owned car park as a temporary compound.

When asked how parking at the station would be managed during the almost year long building project, a spokesman said: “The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Northern have commenced work on a ‘decanting strategy’ and will be meeting with local councillors and Bradford Council to develop and review alternative arrangements during the closure.”

At the same meeting members also discussed a new park and ride at Stourton (costing £36.99m) and plans to expand a current park and ride site in Temple Green (£7.38m), with each moving onto the final “full business case” stage. Both are expected to be completed in the spring of 2021.

Some £18m of improvements to the south entrance of the A621 were also discussed, including new bus lanes and bus priority at signals, cycling and walking infrastructure and improvements to green-space. This work is expected to finish in February 2021.