Get behind campaign for better rail service in mid Cheshire

Northwich Guardian: Get behind campaign for better rail service in mid Cheshire Get behind campaign for better rail service in mid Cheshire

RESIDENTS have been urged to get behind a campaign launched by the Guardian and the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership to get a half-hourly service connecting our towns and villages to Manchester and Chester.

In June the Cheshire and Warrington Local Transport Body (CWLTB) recommended it would lobby Rail North – an organisation looking after the renewal of the Northern and Transpennine Express franchises – and the Department of Transport in a bid to get more trains running through the area.

It also pledged to work with stakeholders and community rail partners to explore opportunities to improve rail services, stations and rolling stock and wider longer term goals for the Mid Cheshire Line corridor.

The Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership is urging Rail North and the Department of Transport to look at the figures collated by volunteers that show the demand for the line.

More than half a million journeys are made from Knutsford and the partnership believes that passengers should benefit from a half-hourly semi-fast service to supplement the current hourly service.

Sally Buttifant, Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership officer, told the Guardian that residents played a key part in keeping pressure on rail bosses.

“I was really excited to get this proposal before the transport board,” she said.

“With the support of Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West and Chester as well I’m thrilled with the recommendations.

“That is a large step forward but we can’t rest on our laurels, it is about keeping the pressure on. There is so much happening in the rail world at the moment.

“The people on the Mid Cheshire line need a half-hourly service as it is overcrowded and there needs to be better rolling stock.

“Rolling stock is a national issue and that is not something we can fight in mid Cheshire that easily but what we can work on locally is to affect the bids and to make sure the franchises have a half hourly service for the Mid Cheshire line.

“At Northwich, if you count that station and Greenbank, we’ve got 400,000 passengers and the busiest parts of the line are between Greenbank, Northwich, Knutsford and Manchester and those people need the 30 minute service.

“A lot of people drive because they don’t get a seat and won’t travel on a ‘pacer’ train and as a result just sit in traffic.

“If the journey time was reduced then we would get more people on to the train.”

Henry Brooks, from the Tatton Estate, told the Guardian the increase in frequency would help the areas businesses thrive.

“There are major businesses like the Tatton Estate, Barclays, and Bruntwood who have been supportive and it’s important for them to do just that,” he added.

George Osborne, Tatton MP and Chancellor, added: “The Mid Cheshire Line is a crucial part of our local transport infrastructure. More regular services would be very welcome and I applaud the efforts of community groups to galvanise public support.”

Show your support by visiting railnorth.org and downloading the consultation document.

  • Leave your comments below or visit the Mid Cheshire line’s Facebook here

Comments (5)

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7:35pm Thu 17 Jul 14

jmyerscough says...

So Gideon said that the line is vital blah blah blah

What exactly is he doing to help the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership?

The poor frequency and poor rolling stock has been an issue since 2010

What exactly has he been doing to address this since he entered his cabinet post?

Or does he think that with an election in less than 9 months that he should start bothering with the residents who elected him into his very well paid job
So Gideon said that the line is vital blah blah blah What exactly is he doing to help the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership? The poor frequency and poor rolling stock has been an issue since 2010 What exactly has he been doing to address this since he entered his cabinet post? Or does he think that with an election in less than 9 months that he should start bothering with the residents who elected him into his very well paid job jmyerscough
  • Score: 2

9:26pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Jack Hay says...

The way the railways were privatised (by the Major government, and left unchanged by the Blair and Brown governments) means that changing the train service in any significant way during the life of a train company franchise is almost impossible (and the change being campaigned for here is significant - doubling the service). If a particular service frequency or train type is not written into the franchise agreement (a contract), then it's probably too late. So this campaign, I think, is about getting the right details written into the next franchise which starts in 2016. If George can make that happen then he's done us all a great service. The franchise has not been re-let whilst he's been Chancellor if I remember right so he's not had the opportunity before. I hope he grabs his chance.
The way the railways were privatised (by the Major government, and left unchanged by the Blair and Brown governments) means that changing the train service in any significant way during the life of a train company franchise is almost impossible (and the change being campaigned for here is significant - doubling the service). If a particular service frequency or train type is not written into the franchise agreement (a contract), then it's probably too late. So this campaign, I think, is about getting the right details written into the next franchise which starts in 2016. If George can make that happen then he's done us all a great service. The franchise has not been re-let whilst he's been Chancellor if I remember right so he's not had the opportunity before. I hope he grabs his chance. Jack Hay
  • Score: 1

12:28pm Sat 19 Jul 14

hectorplain says...

I never use trains, the tickets are too pricey.

But then again so are bus fares.

Petrol is expensive too.

Walking is relatively cheap but it is very slow and this limits your range.

It's hard walking with heavy shopping bags, especially up Castle Hill in the wind and rain.
I never use trains, the tickets are too pricey. But then again so are bus fares. Petrol is expensive too. Walking is relatively cheap but it is very slow and this limits your range. It's hard walking with heavy shopping bags, especially up Castle Hill in the wind and rain. hectorplain
  • Score: 1

10:41pm Sun 20 Jul 14

m cuddington says...

Get shot of the Pacer 'cattle wagons' and extend the proposed half hourly service to Cuddington please.

This would generate more traffic and take more cars off the road.

This is probably too much to ask though, as we seem to prefer to back projects like HS2 rather than practical ways of moving ordinary folk between places they want to travel.
Get shot of the Pacer 'cattle wagons' and extend the proposed half hourly service to Cuddington please. This would generate more traffic and take more cars off the road. This is probably too much to ask though, as we seem to prefer to back projects like HS2 rather than practical ways of moving ordinary folk between places they want to travel. m cuddington
  • Score: 4

10:33pm Thu 24 Jul 14

Iadach says...

Reopening platform 3 at Northwich and reinstating a passenger service to Crewe would be good too. The line is still there but it's just for freight now.
Reopening platform 3 at Northwich and reinstating a passenger service to Crewe would be good too. The line is still there but it's just for freight now. Iadach
  • Score: 1
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