RAIL users have been asked to come together to make a case for Northern to increase the frequency of trains on the mid Cheshire line.

With more people returning to workplaces, the Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association (MCRUA) is concerned that current Northern timetables on the mid Cheshire line are failing to meet their needs.

That is why the MCRUA is asking passengers who rely on rail services to get to work and find that the current service does not fit their work patterns to get in contact so a case can be made to Northern.

The Mid Cheshire Line connects Chester to Manchester via Northwich, Knutsford, Altrincham, and Stockport.

On the Mid Cheshire Line on Mondays to Sundays there continues to be trains every two hours, with the first train leaving Manchester Piccadilly at 7.09am (9.04am on Sundays) and Chester at 6.51am (9.04am on Sundays).

The last trains leave at 20.41pm (21.06pm on Sundays) and 21.02am (20.59am on Sundays) respectively.

Those services that are running have twice as many carriages, but capacity is seriously reduced because of social distancing.

Government advice is still to avoid public transport and if possible, to walk or cycle or go by car, but the MCRUA says this is not practical for many workers on the mid Cheshire line.

Passengers are reminded that the sale of tickets on board trains has been suspended and that tickets should be bought online or at stations before travel. You should also use face covering where possible.

John Oates, MCRUA chairman, said: “We continue to pay tribute to the efforts of our colleagues in the rail industry and their energies to keep transport going for during these difficult times.

“We are also mindful that Northern’s workforce has been depleted because staff have not been able to return to work because of medical issues and shielding, so it is not able to run its normal timetables.

“Nevertheless, the MCRUA is keen to see an uplift in the timetables when it is possible.

“For us to achieve this for our rail users, it is important we make a factual case to Northern on workers travelling habits.

“We are now asking those who need the services to return to work to get in touch via mcrua.org.uk so we can build a rational case for future timetabling.

“This is particularly important when school children return to school and for those where there is no option but to use the train.

“Until services return to normal, we remind passengers they should only use public transport where essential and they should check timetables before travelling.”