Thursday, 31 January 2013
CAMPAIGN UPDATE - JANUARY 2013
At MRLC’s committee meeting on the 29th January we discussed the progress of the petition which our local MP Fiona Bruce is putting before Parliament; the possibility of our taking advantage of the new £20 million Government funding for the opening of new railway stations in the UK, and Monday’s announcement of the route for phase two of High Speed 2 (HS2) which, in this area, will run from the West Coast Main Line near Minshull Vernon and then veer off towards Manchester, passing very close to Middlewich and Winsford at Stanthorne and Bostock.
MRLC is in the process of passing on the last few additional signatures on our petition which Congleton MP Fiona Bruce intends to put before Parliament.
The petition calls for the introduction of a new passenger service from
Manchester to Crewe
via Northwich, a new station at Middlewich, and Sandbach.
Fiona hopes to be able to present the petition in the near future.
The Government recently announced the creation of a new £20 million fund for the building of new stations in the
The stumbling block as far as MRLC is concerned is that schemes applying for this funding need to be, as the Government puts it, ‘shovel ready’ – i.e. ready to go ahead and with the support of local authorities, train companies and Network Rail.
We do, of course, have the support of both Cheshire Councils and of Northern Rail who will be the operators of the new service, but the problem lies with Network Rail who are asking for a large sum of money merely to look at our consultants’ report.
Cheshire East Councillor Mike Parsons has agreed to talk to Fiona Bruce about this matter and see if anything can be done to access some of this money for Middlewich.
We also talked about the rather controversial matter of the new High Speed Rail Link, phase two of which will run from Crewe to Manchester, passing very close to Middlewich and Winsford in the process.
MRLC feels that the fact that the ‘local’ station for HS2 in this area will be
does nothing but strengthen the case for the new Manchester-Middlewich-Crewe
There will be much talk in the years to come about developing local lines to ‘feed into’ the HS2 lines and we very much hope that the Middlewich line will be one of them.
This does not, however, indicate that we believe that the new Middlewich service will ‘follow on’ from the development of the HS2 line.
Our new service, and our new station are needed now, and will be needed whether or not the new High Speed lines are built.