A “PARK and rail” scheme that would see a new multi storey car park built at Steeton and Silsden Train Station will cost over £750,000 more than expected, and will not be ready until 14 months after the original completion date.

The 250 space car park was one of several upgrades to parking facilities at local stations proposed by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

At a meeting of the Combined Authority’s Investment Committee on Thursday, members will be given an update on three schemes, Steeton and Silsden, and two stations in Wakefield, Moorthorpe, Normanton.

Members will be asked to increase the budget for the three projects, as well as approve an extension for the time scale of the projects.

It says the lengthy delays are down to “contract deliberations.”

One local Councillor has voiced his disappointment at the latest delays to a scheme that seemed just weeks away from starting earlier this year.

Steeton and Silsden 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 would bring total parking on the site to 247 cars.

One of the main aims was to take more cars off the road by encouraging people to travel by train for much of their journey.

Funding for the scheme, one of several “park and rail” projects for West Yorkshire, was granted by the Combined Authority last October.

But at a meeting on Thursday, members of the Investment Committee will be told that the budget for the works at Steeton and Silsden Station will rise from £3,879,000 to £4,630,800 - a jump of £751,800.

When the project was first approved, the forecast end date was today - October 30 2020.

Steeton and Silsden Rail Station car park plan given £3.9m funding

However a report to the committee now says work is unlikely to be completed until January 31 2022.

The cost of the work at Moorthorpe station has increased from £778,551 to £905,551 (a rise of £127,000), and the end date for the project will be moved back from this December to September 2021.

The budget for the Normanton Station works will rise from £1,987,000 to £2,314,000 (£327,000) and the completion date knocked back from February to November 2021.

Explaining the increase in costs, a report to the committee says: “It has been identified that the value of the contracts, and therefore the total scheme costs approval, needs to be increased to reflect the VAT element that cannot be recovered by Northern or the Combined Authority under current HMRC rules.”

It adds: “The Park and Ride programme has sufficient funds to meet these additional costs and will still have contingency funding for other schemes.”

Explaining the risks of the scheme, the report says: “All sites are third party owned and carry the risk of potential compulsory purchase orders. This is being mitigated through land and legal work streams to prioritise sites that are more deliverable.”

Councillor Adrian Naylor, (Ind, Craven) said the site had been beset by issues, including the Government’s decision to strip the franchise from Northern Rail - who would have been a key part of the scheme. He said: "They were due to start on the site a few weeks before lockdown. Then Grant Schapps removed the franchise from Northern, which was the group responsible for the car park. Then the Department for Transport took over and they had to look at re-doing the contracts.

"Nothing happened during the period of lockdown, which would have been the ideal time for work to start, as concerns over cars being displaced was one of the main problems with this work.

"It looks like a whole year will have been wasted, at a time when hardly anyone was using the car park and the work would have had very little impact on the people of Steeton. Now work will probably start after Christmas when we'll see an increase in people travelling from the station."