Station ‘could lose out to neighbours’ in cash fight

Station ‘could lose out to neighbours’ in cash fight

MIRFIELD railway station could miss out on cash for improvements, a campaigner has warned – and neighbouring Ravensthorpe station could be the beneficiary instead.

Coun Martyn Bolt detailed his fears after attending a Kirklees Council meeting last Tuesday.

He asked if the railway station would benefit from any of the £150m in transport cash that the authority has secured.

Cabinet member for regeneration Coun Peter McBride (Lab) was reported to have replied that Mirfield is an important spending priority.

But it was claimed he added that Ravensthorpe railway station is of equal or more importance.

Coun Bolt (Con, Mirfield) believes the answer hints at Ravensthorpe being targeted for spending. He said much of the £150m from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority is for roads.

Schemes are tied into the Local Plan, where Ravensthorpe, Savile Town, Thornhill Lees and Mirfield are set for more than 4,000 new homes.

Problems at Ravensthorpe include a fork in the track just before the station, which is on the Huddersfield line.

Any expansion offering trains to other destinations could need a costly extra platform.

Coun Bolt said: “There’s only a small amount of money and if they invest in Ravensthorpe there may not be enough left for Mirfield.”

He thinks Mirfield needs extra parking and improved passenger access to qualify for Government investment.

This would pay for waiting rooms and a ticket office but Mirfield missed out in a ranking system based on passenger numbers.

Coun Bolt said: “If the ranking is passenger-dependent, you’re not going to improve the ranking because of the lack of parking and disabled access.”

He added that Ravensthorpe “has got to be a political decision because it’s not a prudent business decision.

“Why should people who travel to London have to go to Leeds or Wakefield and spend money in their cafes and shops when they could do so locally?”

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