Study commissioned for re-opening Cheshire’s Sandbach to Northwich railway line
The Middlewich Railway Steering Group, which is a partnership of several local authorities, rail interest groups, local business and other public organisations has appointed The Railway Consultancy Ltd to carry out a study to assess the potential for upgrading the Sandbach to Northwich branch railway line for passenger services, which would include the provision of a new station to serve the Cheshire market town of Middlewich.
This is the first stage of a detailed procedure which must be followed to prove that there is the demand for a service and that the benefits justify the costs of providing such a service. The ultimate intention is to provide a regular passenger service between Crewe and Manchester via Sandbach, Middlewich, Northwich, Knutsford and Altrincham.
Chairman of the Steering Group. Vernon Perkins said “The Steering Group is grateful to Congleton and Vale Royal Borough Councils, Cheshire County Council, Cheshire and Warrington Economic Alliance (CWEA) and the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) for funding this important study. It is, however, the very beginning of a long procedure to prove to Network Rail, the Rail Regulator and the Department for Transport that the project is likely to be viable.”
Cheshire County Council’s Principal Transportation Officer, Christine Garner said “The information which will be produced by the study will provide vital evidence to the new Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester Councils to help them determine whether the project should be treated as a priority in the next Local Transport Plans, work on which will be starting in 2009.”
Dr Nigel Harris, Managing Director of The Railway Consultancy Ltd said “I am delighted that the Steering Group has appointed our Company to carry out this important study. We shall be working hard on the project over the next few weeks with a view to submitting a final report by the end of March 2009.”
David Horstead, Director of Strategy and Intelligence for CWEA said “A railway link to Middlewich would provide much needed additional public transport to the area which is essential to enable Cheshire and Warrington residents to take advantage of job opportunities in Middlewich and Middlewich residents to take advantage of opportunities elsewhere in the sub-region.”
Notes For Editors
The re-opening of this railway line to passenger traffic and construction of a new station has been a long-standing ambition of Middlewich residents, Middlewich Town Council, the Middlewich Rail Link Campaign (see www.middlewichstation.org.uk) and the Mid Cheshire Rail Users’ Association (see www.mcrua.org.uk/projects).
Middlewich (population 13,000) is the largest town in Cheshire without a railway station. More than 50% of the working population of the town commute out of Middlewich by car and the majority of these work in Greater Manchester.
The Railway Consultancy provides consultancy services in the fields of railway planning, operations, economics, management, strategy and training.
A copy of the Consultant’s brief can be obtained by email from Middlewich Town Council.
Cheshire & Warrington Economic Alliance (CWEA)
Cheshire & Warrington Economic Alliance is funded predominantly by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). CWEA is the strategic economic development partnership for the Cheshire and Warrington sub-region whose aim is to ensure a dynamic, high quality environment for both business and residents. Visit www.cwea.org.uk.
Middlewich Town Council
Stephen Dent, Assistant Town Clerk 01606 833434 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheshire County Council
Christine Garner, Principal Transportation Officer, 01244 973407 email@example.com
Middlewich Railway Steering Group
Vernon Perkins, Chairman, 01606 835332, JulesVerne@tesco.net
The Railway Consultancy Ltd
Dr Nigel G Harris, 020 8676 0395, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated: Sunday, 18th December 2016
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