From Keighley News, February 5th, 2018
Written by David Mason
Network Rail has completed a programme of work to refurbish Keighley’s mainline railway station after lead from the building’s roof was stolen in 2016. The work took place between November last year and January and saw repairs carried out on the station’s battered roof.
The project also saw the station booking hall, which suffered water damage following the theft, plastered and redecorated.
Network Rail says it has also carried out work to deter any future lead thieves.
Its workers have adding stickers to the station roof, which highlight that the work done to the property has used a lead substitute.
Andrew Murray, director of route safety and asset management at the company, said: “Keighley Station is a grade II listed building and as a result we’ve worked very closely with local stakeholders to carry out this work and to minimise the impact on passengers.
“The repairs to the roof and booking hall at Keighley will improve the experience of the thousands of people using the station every day, and we’d like to thank them for their patience whilst this work was carried out.
“This project paves the way for a major refurbishment which Network Rail will carry out by 2020, so this milestone marks the start of significant improvements for rail users.’’
Graham Mitchell, team leader of the Keighley Station Partnership, said: “I have been one of the most vocal public critics of the condition of Keighley Station, so I really welcome the new relationship which we now have with Network Rail.
“The recent work has already made a noticeable difference to the appearance of the booking hall.”
Mr Mitchell, who is also a former town mayor and councillor, added: “There is much yet to achieve, but we are now certainly all heading in the right direction.”
John Grogan, MP for Keighley, said: “Keighley Station is the first impression many people get of the town and as we all know first impressions count.
“It is certainly looking a lot smarter and I am encouraged by the fact all the different parties involved are working closely with Network Rail to make the next stage of the refurbishment a success.”
The work finished last month comes ahead of an even more comprehensive refurbishment of the station which is planned to be completed by 2020.
The major project will concentrate on refurbishing the main station building and forecourt canopy, renewing the station footbridge and covered wooden ramps, and should include repairs to platforms one and two.
As reported in the Keighley News last year, the state of the station had attracted complaints from people concerned about the building’s dilapidated appearance.
They pointed out severe water damage to paint and plaster in the booking hall, plants growing out of the forecourt canopy, peeling paint, cracked glass panes and rusting metalwork.
The Aire Valley Rail Users’ Group noted that Keighley is one of Northern Rail’s busiest stations in terms of footfall, so is an important source of revenue.