THE Halton curve rail link is to receive a £10.4 million upgrade, Chancellor George Osborne has announced today.
Campaigners including Halton MP Derek Twigg and Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans have been fighting to get this section of line, which closed in the 70s, restored.
It will dramatically improve the ease of public transport through the reinstatement of a section of rail track between Runcorn and Frodsham.
The project is included in a new £34.4m transport initative unveiled as part of the Atlantic Gateway project.
Runcorn MP Graham Evans said: “ I am very pleased that the Halton Curve is to be redeveloped to provide the people of Frodsham, Helsby and Runcorn with a direct rail connection.
"I have been campaigning strongly for this vital rail link for a number of years and my petition has attracted hundreds of constituents’ support.
"I have been working closely with the Chancellor of The Exchequer, the Department for Transport, Merseytravel, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Halton Council and North Cheshire Rail Users Group on this very important transport link.
"The Halton Curve will connect Halton, Cheshire, and North Wales together to provide a huge boost to the local economy and will make Weaver Vale an even better place to live, work and invest.”
Liverpool John Lennon Airport has also welcomed the announcement as it will improve connectivity between Liverpool, Cheshire and North Wales.
The airport has supported the need for the re-establishment of this important rail link ever since the idea was first proposed more than 10 years ago.
Currently there are no direct public transport links from these areas to the airport despite approximately 250,000 passengers each year from these areas flying from Liverpool.
Robin Tudor, head of PR for Liverpool John Lennon Airport said, “This is tremendous news for the airport and has been a project we have supported and been pursuing for many, many years.
“This scheme will now mean that communities in north west Cheshire, many of whom live close enough that they can see the airport from across the other side of the Mersey estuary, along with passengers right across North Wales, will once again have direct rail access to Liverpool and the airport via Liverpool South Parkway rail station.
“The Halton Curve is likewise important for inbound visitors using Liverpool John Lennon Airport as a gateway to the region, providing far easier onward access to tourist destinations including Chester and areas across North Wales.”