The parking nightmare at one of Kirklees’ busiest train stations will be tackled this year, rail bosses have promised.
The number of people using Mirfield station – which serves commuters heading to Huddersfield, Leeds, Wakefield and London – has rocketed in recent years.
But with just 35 spaces in its car park, its popularity has caused chaos on the surrounding roads prompting Kirklees Council to install extra double yellow lines.
Mirfield councillors and MPs have been pushing for improvements to the station for years.
Now rail infrastructure company Network Rail has vowed to create two new parking areas.
A report for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) – a regional body of local government – says work will begin this spring on extending the existing parking area.
An extra 24 spaces will be created by using rough ground alongside the line, opposite a cabin used by a taxi firm.
Parking capacity will then be more than doubled when plans to create a further 94 spaces are acted on in the autumn or winter this year, the WYCA papers say.
Mirfield Tory Clr Martyn Bolt, told the Examiner the new large parking area would be done by converting Jewsons builder’s merchants.
He said the firm was leasing the site from Network Rail and he hoped they would be helped to find alternative accommodation.
Clr Bolt said Network Rail could have eased the parking pain years ago but chose to ignore local complaints.
He said the parking expansion was on land that was already covered in railway ballast with easy access for cars, and it had been sitting unused for years.
And he said despite the desperate shortage of parking, Network Rail had converted a large patch of land behind Lidl into a goods yard.
Network Rail has been approached for comment.
Last week, MP Paula Sherriff said she had been told Mirfield station was in line for a re-build if the TransPennine line was straightened as part of the improvement scheme.
Clr Bolt said he had investigated and been told four options had been proposed to the government and nobody knew which way it would go.
But Clr Bolt said his view was serious thought should be given to an all new station rather than revamps for Mirfield and nearby Ravensthorpe.
He said: “If it costs £15m to do each one – is it feasible to spend £30m on stations within a mile of each other?
“Ravensthorpe is only one line but Mirfield serves Wakefield and London.
“Mirfield has platforms on either side of a road so having one ticket office isn’t possible.
“And we still have the disabled access problems.
“Rather than tinker with two, wouldn’t it be better to build a proper, modern, fit-for-purpose station.
“There are a number of former railway land sites that would satisfy the criteria.”