OPENING a railway station at Gadbrook Park is a ‘vital project’ for Northwich, it was claimed this week.

The eight-and-a-half mile stretch between Northwich and Sandbach closed to passengers in 1960.

The Mid Cheshire Rail Link Campaign, formerly the Middlewich Rail Link Campaign, has been a continuously campaigning since the 90s for it to be reopened in Middlewich.

Recently the campaign has widened its scope to include a station at Gadbrook Park in Rudheath, which it says would ease the current parking woes.

Addressing Northwich Town Council on Monday, Stephen Dent, chairman of the Mid Cheshire Rail Link Campaign, said: “The biggest change we’ve made is to introduce a station at Gadbrook Park.

“As you are probably aware, at peak times the traffic situation there is absolutely horrendous.”

In August the campaign group published a 35-page business case.

He told councillors so far it has been well received and revealed it has even been mentioned in the House of Commons.

Cllr Andrew Cooper, Northwich Town Council member for the Bridge ward, was involved in producing the paper.

He said the Gadbrook Park station will help address the number of business park workers who leave their cars outside nearby residents’ their homes.

Cllr Cooper said: “This is an absolutely vital project for Northwich. The issues around Gadbrook Park are at a critical stage at the moment.

"This will go a long way to sorting that out.

“With Barons Quay development opening up, allowing teenagers to be able to come in from Middlewich and Sandbach and so on to commute to Barons Quay – that’s a big issue.”

Cllr Cooper said another route into Crewe will also ease parking issues around Hartford station.

“The line is already there. It’s an absolute no-brainer,” he said.

Mr Dent also claimed the proposed station would have a wider benefit to the people of Northwich.

“The biggest thing for Northwich is that they can’t get directly to Crewe,” he said.

“If this line was open to passenger traffic they would be able to do that.”

He said the campaign group are trying to make a case for regarding the line as a northern powerhouse project as many prominent businessmen who commute to nearby cities such as Liverpool and Manchester live in Cheshire.

Mr Dent also said the line will act as a feeder route to the HS2 hub station in Crewe for the whole of central Cheshire.

He said the group now need the full backing of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council to help move the campaign forward.

He said: “Where do we go from here? This report has been written by residents, with the help of some experts.

“But as far as we can actually go, as residents, is producing this important attention to everybody of this situation.

“The fact is that it is an absolute no-brainer that this railway line should be open.”

Northwich Town Council agreed to write to CWAC to recommend they reiterate their support for the campaign and agree to part-fund the feasibility study, which will be carried out by Network Rail.