RESIDENTS are being urged to have their say on plans to change rail services around Knutsford and Wilmslow.

The Department for Transport (DfT), rail industry and Transport for the North have worked together on proposals to reduce bottlenecks around Manchester as part of Covid-19 recovery.

Proposals aim to increase the reliability of services by simplifying services and reducing the number of trains using the city's Castlefield corridor, and there are three options being considered – A, B and C.

Option C would benefit Knutsford passengers by bringing a second train per hour on the Mid Cheshire Line, with the Manchester to North Wales service from its current route through Warrington.

Meanwhile, option B would benefit passengers at Styal, who would get an additional service running between Manchester and Crewe.

However, option A would see Alderley Edge lose its direct service to Southport, with the route running only to Manchester instead.

The agreed option, due to be introduced in May 2022, would aim to ‘significantly improve overall reliability while maintaining the pre-Covid travel connections for the vast majority of passengers’, according to the DfT.

Cllr Craig Browne

Cllr Craig Browne

Cllr Craig Browne, deputy leader at Cheshire East Council, said: "I would urge everyone to get involved and share their views and help shape future rail services between Cheshire East, Manchester and the wider region.

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“The proposals aim to give passengers a more reliable service with less risk of knock-on delays. In the longer-term, infrastructure changes are being planned to enable more services to be added in a sustainable way.

"But it is important that Cheshire East residents and rail users are heard now, and that their interests are protected and services enhanced – not reduced."

The consultation runs until March 10 at