SKIPTON'S 'transformative' £7.8m Gateway scheme has been scaled back with plans for the railway station now shelved to a later date.

Just weeks after plans for the reconfiguration of the car park at the station - the second busiest in North Yorkshire after Harrogate - were approved, that part of the scheme has been put on hold to a time 'once funding is identified' says North Yorkshire Council.

It now leaves the planned upgrade from the railway station to the cattle mart and Craven College, and the walking route to the bus station, including Black Walk and a replacement Gallows Bridge.

At a meeting of the North Yorkshire Executive today (Tuesday) it was agreed to shelve parts of the £7.8m Skipton Gateway scheme due to cost pressures.

The council’s Conservative executive voted to move forward with the project but said a planned reconfiguration of the station’s car park will be removed as will pedestrian improvements to Broughton Road.

A report that went before councillors said the changes were necessary as the contractors budget has increased “considerably”.

It also said flood protection requirements in the station car park, restricted working hours and constrained working locations have all added to the cost.

The council’s executive member for highways, Keane Duncan, said:  “Delivering capital projects of this scale in an era of high inflation and supply chain issues is not straightforward and not easy. It’s important we as an executive do not shy away from that reality. It’s important we are clear and realistic about what we can achieve.

“Our revised proposals focus on the core elements with the most public support and are built on cross-party engagement and frank and honest conversations.

“We are not reneging on the ambition and scale of our overall vision. The update today represents positive progress and puts us in the best possible position to deliver this landmark package of investment whilst avoid potential pitfalls, delays and constraints that we’re being very honest about.”

Funding for the Skipton Gateway, which has already increased from £5.8m to £7.8m, was won through the government’s Transforming Cities Fund — a grant aimed at boosting cycling and walking access in urban areas.

However, the finished project is set to look different to what was originally envisaged which is likely to disappoint proponents of non-car travel.

The proposals had also included a cycle lane on Broughton Road between Skipton Railway Station and the town centre, but this was scrapped in 2021 after concerns were raised over the safety of cyclists and loss of a taxi rank.

The report added “It is recognised that omitting the rail station approach dilutes the original vision, but officers are working to identify alternative sources of funding to deliver this in the short-to medium term and in line with the wider strategic vision for this part of Skipton.”

A full business case for the revised scheme is set to be submitted to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority next month.

Councillor Keane Duncan, told the Herald earlier this week: "We’re almost ready to submit the final business case for the Skipton Gateway scheme.

“This is a key step towards securing this transformative £7.8 million investment, and commencing construction.

“Our revised proposal is affordable, deliverable and built on extensive engagement with the public and local councillors.

“We plan to deliver further improvements, including improvements to the railway station car park, in a later phase of works once funding is identified.”