|Our picture shows the 'Limestone Cowboy' special train on the Middlewich Branch line, passing the site of the original Middlewich Station on August 25th 2011. Photo: Vernon Perkins/Middlewich Rail Link Campaign|
by Robin Lord
At a meeting of the Middlewich Rail Link Campaign on Tuesday 31st July Councillor Mike Parsons announced
that we have now collected over 1600 signatures for the petition asking that the Northwich to
Sandbach line be re-opened along with a station in Middlewich.
Fiona Bruce MP for Congleton said “ that would be enough signatures to present the petition to
Parliament, but as Parliament is now in recess it would do no harm to collect more signatures in
the period before Parliament returns in September.
“I have been in touch with Michael Jones Leader of the Cheshire East council and told him that the
station in Middlewich is my priority for the area. Mike has been with me on a visit to Middlewich”
A big thank you from Councillor Peter Hirst is due to the retailers in Wheelock St who between
them have collected about two thirds of the total so far collected. Mike Parsons Cheshire East
Councillor for Middlewich Ward said “We will invite the Wheelock St. retailers to come and meet
Fiona Bruce when we present her with the petition.”
Mike also said “Cheshire East Council has been granted £3.5M by the government from the Local
Sustainable Transport Fund and I have written to Rod Menlove and Jamie Macrae, Cheshire East
cabinet members, to request a meeting to discuss using some of that money for the Middlewich Rail
Harry Boardman a member of the committee added “There is also £100M allocated by government
to station improvements and a further £100M for 'transport for all' in the plans for 2014/19 and we
will try to get a share of that money as neither Sandbach nor Northwich have facilities for the
disabled, Amazingly it is not yet compulsory to provide such access to stations”.
“There are substantial benefits to the region as a whole from opening this line, it would make it
much easier for Knutsford residents to get to Crewe thereby taking a load off Manchester Picadilly
and it would provide cross county connectivity unseen by Cheshire for more than half a century.”
There is plenty of time left for Middlewich residents or others with an interest to sign the petition,
forms are availble in the library, the council offices and many of the shops in Wheelock St. the more
we get the sooner we are likely to succeed".