From Keighley News, 5th October 2017
Written by Miran Rahman
REMEDIAL work on dilapidated parts of Keighley Railway Station should begin before the end of this year. The news, confirmed by the building's owner Network Rail, was welcomed by Keighley's MP John Grogan, who has met with senior rail bosses to discuss the tired state of the property.
One year ago the Keighley News reported that major renovation work on the station had been delayed until 2019, after the estimated cost of completing this project ballooned from £370,000 to more than £1 million.
Former Keighley mayor and veteran transport campaigner Graham Mitchell had highlighted the poor condition of the building, pointing out cracked glass panes, plants growing out of gutters, water leaking through the roof, neglected woodwork and peeling paint.
But Network Rail has now said that while the larger refurbishment scheme is still expected to take place in the 2019/20 financial year, the building will receive a more limited programme of repairs much sooner than that.
Mr Grogan said: "I'm encouraged by the plans both Network Rail and Northern Rail have for Keighley Station, which for many is the gateway to the town.
"I will convene a follow up meeting in the New Year, by which time some works should have started and there should be more detail on future plans."
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are working closely with our stakeholders on our plans to carry out work to Keighley Station as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan.
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"The work will see repairs to the station roof, as well as work to repair and redecorate the booking hall.
"Work to the roof will begin later this year and work to the booking hall will be completed in 2018.
“Every year we carry out work to clear the gutters at the station and Network Rail’s maintenance team will continue to do so.
"We are planning a major upgrade to the station in 2019/2020 and will provide a further update, as well as engage with the local community, nearer the time.”
Tim Calow, chairman of Aire Valley Rail Users' Group, said: "Obviously we're delighted that this essential work is going to be done.
"I know that Graham Mitchell in particular has worked very hard to push for this to be carried out. There has been pressure applied behind the scenes and we're happy it has borne fruit.
"Keighley is one of Northern Rail's busiest stations in terms of footfall and is an important source of revenue.
"It's important that the station presents the right image, and it's important to us as representatives of the people who use the Airedale Line."
Mr Grogan said he also understood that the Airedale Line, which serves Keighley, is soon due to benefit from additional investment that should include new, longer trains and increased train services on Sundays.
A spokesman for Northern Rail this week said: “During the next three years Northern will deliver a modernisation programme that will transform rail travel in the north of England.
“Our modernisation programme includes a wide range of service and route improvements that will be introduced progressively during the next three years.
"We're now finalising improvements for introduction in December this year and completing the consultation on proposed improvements for introduction in the May 2018 timetable.
"Such improvements are anticipated to include a number of routes in West Yorkshire, and more detail will be released once the process is complete.”