NORTHWICH’s MP has promised to take action over ‘unacceptable’ train delays in Mid Cheshire.

Last month shocking figures revealed that almost 60 per cent of trains using the Mid Cheshire line were late over the past five months.

Freight trains using the line have been blamed for the poor performance figures.

The figures were revealed by Cllr Andrew Cooper, member for Bridge ward, following a meeting of the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership.

Following the reveal, Mike Amesbury, MP for Weaver Vale, wrote to Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail and has now received a response.

In a letter to the MP, Network Rail said: “We have a number of track and embankment stability issues along the route which we have protected with temporary speed restrictions that are impacting on train performance.

“The route has seen a significant increase in freight traffic over the last 18 months and we have three speed restrictions between Knutsford and Stockport, and two on the line between Stockport and Knutsford.

“We also have an additional speed restriction on a section of track at Cheadle.”

Network Rail outlined a number of repairs it said it was undertaking, ranging from replacement of timbers which support the track and drainage replacements.

Mr Amesbury said he will meet with rail bosses to ensure all of the necessary work is carried out.

He said: “I’ll be raising this issue in Parliament with the Minister responsible and sitting down with bosses from Network Rail to ensure the necessary work is undertaken to improve rail services in and around Northwich.

“It’s simply unacceptable that so many trains are being delayed and we have to ensure that not only are the services we’ve got now the very best they can be, but also that the infrastructure is fit for purpose in the future too.”

Cllr Andrew Cooper welcomed the continued support from the Labour MP.

He said: “It's good to see that Mike Amesbury has taken up this issue with enthusiasm and is getting some engagement from Network Rail.

“It is very important to users of this line that these infrastructure issues are resolved as soon as possible, and in particular before the new timetable is implemented.

“I will keep working with Mike to push for action to ensure this happens.