TATTON MP Esther McVey has urged the rail minister to look at reopening the Mid Cheshire Rail Link to reduce congestion and reconnect Knutsford to Crewe for the future benefits of HS2.

The call comes off the back of an announcement of new government money to reverse some of the cuts of the 1960s, recommended by then-British Railways chairman Dr Richard Beeching.

The line from Northwich to Sandbach via Middlewich was closed to passenger services in a pre-Beeching Report move in 1960, but the track remains in place and is used for freight trains.

Along with the Mid Cheshire Rail Users’ Association (MCRUA), Ms McVey is calling for action.

She said: “I have spoken further to officials in the Department for Transport expressing the absolute anger of the gridlocked residents of Cheshire, and I have written again to the rail minister Paul Maynard requesting the lines are made an absolute priority.

“Along with John Oates of MCRUA, I also recently met with the CEO and chairman of Warrington and Cheshire Local Enterprise Partnership to work as a team to push these lines as strategic, vital roots.”

The reopening of the line has cross-party MP support from across the region, and campaigners have long pushed for stations to be built at Gadbrook Park and Middlewich.

Ms McVey provided the DfT and Government ministers with material about the Mid Cheshire Rail Link as well as the Airport Western Link, setting out why the lines are needed and their benefits.

In a letter to Mr Maynard, Ms McVey wrote: “I really can’t impress upon you enough how urgent this is.”

“In all LEP reports and Government figures it shows Gadbrook Park as a key element in driving growth, business, jobs and productivity.

“That being the case, it needs better access, and with the increasing number of houses being built in the area we need better transport infrastructure across Cheshire.”