A RETIRED couple from Keighley have described how disgusted they were with the state of Ilkley Railway Station when they arrived on a recent visit.

Renne Lapworth, 86, and her husband, George, 85, even wrote to their local paper the Keighley News about the impression created.

In the letter they say that they decided to sit in the station after going around the shops. They say: "Before we sat down we had to wipe the seat. I don't think they know about brushes and shovels at Ilkley station.

"What a mess, fag ends, sandwich packets, paper, cola cans, you name it, it was there on the floor. Anyone travelling by train to Ilkley would have been put off by this - disgusting."

From her home in Crosshills, Mrs Lapworth told our reporter: "It was really a disgrace. People going to Ilkley think they are going to a lovely place - they are when they get outside the station but that's the first impression you get.

Ilkley parish councillor Kate Brown said she had been in touch with the rail operator Northern Rail about the station in an attempt to have it spruced up. She said that Northern Rail had a schedule of regular cleaning.

Coun Brown said: "I wonder if it was unfortunate that they went on a day when it was not being done. The paintwork is in a poor condition when that is done it will look a bit neater."

Our reporter inspected the station last Wednesday the station yesterday and found it clean with a maintenance worker going around emptying bins.

There was rubbish accumulating in the track bed, which is the responsibility of Network Rail. A spokesman for Network Rail said that the track bed was cleaned 13 times a year or more often if a problem was reported. Anyone who sees a problem of litter or damage to the rail track bed can telephone Northern Rail on 08457 114141.