TRANSPORT Secretary Chris Grayling has said he is ‘sympathetic' to the idea of trains running again on the Mid Cheshire Rail Link.

The Mid Cheshire Rail Link between Northwich and Sandbach has been closed to passengers since 1960.

During a debate in the House of Commons on Thursday, Mike Amesbury, MP for Weaver Vale, called on Mr Grayling to invest in new rail services for Mid Cheshire.

Mr Amesbury said: “Will the Secretary of State put some power—some oomph—into the northern powerhouse, and pledge to get funding for passenger trains and platforms on to the existing Mid Cheshire rail link?”

Mr Grayling said he has asked Transport for the North (TfN) – which is set to become the first sub-regional transport body in the UK from the April 1, 2018, to ‘work on recommendations about new projects’.

He said: “As somebody who used to live very close to the Mid Cheshire rail link—indeed, I used to go walking alongside it—I am well aware of its potential.

“I have asked Transport for the North, which is taking the lead on making recommendations about new projects, to do work on this for me, but I should say to the hon. Gentleman that I am extremely sympathetic to the idea of trains running again on that railway line.”

Speaking outside the Chamber, Mr Amesbury: “It’s welcome news that the Transport Secretary has tasked Transport for the North to look at this very pressing issue.

“Improved rail links in Mid Cheshire could be transformative for Northwich and Weaver Vale.

"I will continue to work with all interested parties to press the government on this.”