Transport authorities should stop dragging their feet and fix the chronic problems at one of Yorkshire’s busiest small stations.
That was the conclusion from a site visit to Mirfield Station by Amjad Bashir, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber and Conservative spokesman on small business in the European Parliament.
He was invited to see the station by Kirklees Councillor Martyn Bolt, a longstanding campaigner for much-needed improvements to parking and passenger access at Mirfield.
The station has fewer than 40 parking spaces, but demand for more than 200. Problems with on-street parking near the station got worse when a direct service to London began in 2012.
Access is impossible for disabled passengers because of 29 steps between the street and the East-bound platform.
Councillor Bolt has called for the adjacent site of a former Lidl store to become a car park – at least on a temporary basis – and has secured the agreement of the landowner. But the various agencies controlling the station – including West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Network Rail and the train companies – have fled to agree on a plan to end the problems.
A £2 million pot earmarked by the combined authority for upgrading the station remains unspent.
Count Bolt said: “It has been extremely frustrating trying to get the Labour-controlled authority and the rail companies to put their heads together for a solution, but I will keep on campaigning until we get a result. I am grateful to Amjad for coming to see the problems here first hand.”
Mr Bashir said: “There has been too much talk and too little action here. The various parties must stop their feet-dragging and make a priority of sorting out this Cinderella station. I shall be writing to the Transport Secretary to ask what can be done to unblock the log jam.
“With a bit of vision and urgency, this station cold become a huge asset to the network and the local community instead of being the problem child.”