Work continues behind the scenes aimed at bring forward the re-opening of the Middlewich line to passengers
and the building of a new station to serve Middlewich and the surrounding area.
Our MP Fiona Bruce is still working tirelessly on our behalf, and presented the Parliamentary petition calling
for the re-opening of the line and station on the 20th March.
She followed this up by writing to the Rt. Hon. Simon Burns, the Railways Minister, making him aware of
the tremendous support the re-opening scheme has, both among the people of Middlewich and councillors and
officials at town, borough and regional levels.
These representations were backed up by letters making similar points from Cheshire East Council and from
the Middlewich Rail Link Campaign.
Our main concern at the moment is still the perceived reluctance of Network Rail to talk about the scheme.
That organisation’s assertion that ‘the proposals have been looked at and there is not a sufficient business case’
needs to be challenged and corrected.
As far as we are aware NR have not looked into the proposals at all, and their attitude remains that they will
not do so until enough money has been put on the table to enable the scheme to progress through the GRIP
We are heartened by the fact that the Department of Transport has offered to provide advice to Cheshire East
Council, whose responsibility as the local transport authority it is to progress this scheme.
This is something that Cheshire East has stated that it is very keen to do, as the benefits for Middlewich and
the wider area of the re-instatement of this link make it of vital importance for the regeneration of the town
and a considerably wider catchment area.
Our hope is that the Middlewich proposals will be considerably more advanced when the Government decides
to make more money available for schemes such as ours.
Recently Network Rail’s Director of Network Strategy and Planning published consultation documents on the
long-term planning of the network in order to achieve: ‘economic growth, reduced carbon emissions and
improved quality of life for communities and individuals.’
Fiona Bruce immediately identified this as an opportunity to raise the campaign’s profile within Network Rail
and she has written to NR’s Director of Network Strategy and Planning reminding him of the existence of the
Middlewich proposals, which will do all this and more for this area, and asking for his help in getting NR to
look at the plans and talk to Cheshire East about them.
MRLC will also be writing a letter supporting what Fiona Bruce says.
To sum up, we are more confident than ever of the eventual success of our campaign and will continue to do
everything we can, in conjunction with our very enthusiastic local MP and Borough Council, to ensure further
Middlewich Rail Link Campaign