RAIL passengers in Craven could have access to cheaper fares from next year.

Metro is in the process of extending the area covered by its MetroCard as part of its 25-year Transport Vision.

The transport plan, which is due to be tested next year, would mean the creation of a new zone in addition to the current five.

It would take in Skipton, Harrogate, York and Barnsley.

"Rather than people travelling across the border (for the cheaper fares), we would be encouraging people to use public transport for their whole journey," said a spokesman for Metro.

He added that the aim was to increase the places covered by the cheap fare system to include all areas from which people commuted to Leeds and Bradford.

The news comes as plans to install double yellow lines outside Steeton and Silsden railway station - which is covered by the MetroCard - received a mixed response.

Although residents at last week's Steeton and Eastburn Neighbourhood Forum were largely in favour of the waiting restrictions in Station Road, they believed parking problems would simply be moved into surrounding residential streets.

They also called for more long- term measures to solve the problem of car parking at the station, including an extension of the MetroCard to Skipton.

Some complained that the village was suffering as a result of people from as far away as Malham using the station.

Keith Escritt, senior engineer for Bradford Council, told the meeting that the plan to introduce waiting restrictions had been knocked back at an area committee meeting because of two objections - that the restrictions went too far and would lead to problems elsewhere. He said the idea was raised after complaints from residents, who were supported by the parish council.

"We've had several complaints from people about not being able to get out of drives because of parked cars. There have also been complaints about parking on verges and people making U-turns in Steeton Hall Gardens," said Mr Escritt.

He added that a decision now rested with the chairman of the Keighley Area Committee following more consultation with residents.

Mr Escritt said there were two options for Station Road - one that included 24 parking places and the other, favoured by the parish council, that had no parking.

He added that it was not in his remit to consider where people were coming from to use the station, but to make the road safe for all users.

District councillor Andrew Mallinson told the meeting efforts were being made to solve the problem of people parking illegally at the station and also to reduce the number of people using it to make use of the cheaper rail fares.

Car parking at the station is currently free.

The station is also located in West Yorkshire and so has cheaper rail fares to Leeds and Bradford.

Coun Mallinson said he welcomed plans to install waiting restrictions, but understood there would be consequences.

"The knock-on effect is that the cars currently illegally parked will be displaced into other areas."

He said the parish council would continue to press Metro to tackle the problem.

"Metro have indicated that they will be carrying out a survey of cars in the car park to ascertain where they are coming from.

"The feeling is that they come from outside the area and if we can put some facts to that, it will give us a stronger argument," he said.

Coun Mallinson said Metro had also been asked to consider changing its policy of not charging at the station.

"It has been said that people in the building trade are coming all the way from Lancashire in several cars and then getting into one van and going on to where they want to go," he added.

He said possibilities were to investigate shuttle buses and to charge at the car park with rail passengers getting a refund.

"There are lots of possibilities. Unfortunately, organisations like Metro do take a long time to change policy decisions," he added.