RAIL passengers will see various changes to services in and around Northwich when new timetables are introduced on Sunday, May 19.

The Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association (MCRUA) is reminding passengers of the changes, and to check before they travel.

The Mid Cheshire Line, run by Northern between Chester and Manchester Piccadilly via Northwich, Knutsford, Altrincham and Stockport, will see only minor timing changes.

Meanwhile, the Crewe to Liverpool line via Hartford and Acton Bridge will see significant improvements.

As reported by the Guardian last month, London Northwestern will offer a direct service to London Euston via Birmingham International.

The biggest improvements will see improved weekday services at Acton Bridge, removing most of the long gaps in the timetable, and the return of Sunday services.

Hartford gets more northbound trains with two trains an hour for most of the day, and a 6.37am southbound train so passengers can catch the faster Virgin service from Crewe to London.

John Oates, MCRUA chairman, said: “MCRUA remain very disappointed there is no improvement in the service on the Mid Cheshire Line and we continue to lobby for our promised two trains an hour, faster limited stop services and an hourly train service on Sundays.

“We applaud London Northwestern for the improvement in services on the Crewe to Liverpool line which goes beyond their franchise agreement.

“The biggest improvements will be felt at Acton Bridge which will see the return of train services on Sundays, roughly every 2 hours, and will have more trains on weekdays and Saturdays so that most of the 4-hour gaps in the timetable are eliminated.

“Whilst we appreciate the new direct London Northwestern service to London from Acton Bridge, Hartford and Winsford, passengers will find a much faster service by changing at Crewe for the regular Pendolino service into Euston.

“As with every timetable change MCRUA advise rail users to check their timetables before they travel.”