MID Cheshire's 'abysmal' rail links make a laughing stock of the UK, according to frustrated commuters.
The Chronicle has heard horror stories from a number of residents who have had enough of relying on the service from Hartford railway station.
They say they are all drivers who prefer to use public transport but find themselves railroaded into their cars by 'appalling' delays and cancellations.
One of them has called on Labour's Weaver Vale MP Mike Hall to force his party to make good on its pledge to put people first. Labour says that 'good transport links, for both people and goods, are vital for our economy and the welfare of our community'. But frustrated commuters say there is precious little evidence of that in Mid Cheshire.
Alwena Lamping, a language consultant from Weaverham, spoke out after she 'lost it' earlier this month because of the desperate state of the service to the south.
She was more than an hour-and-a-half late for a seminar in Cambridge because her train from Hartford was cancelled without explanation.
'I had the embarrassment of apologising,' she said. 'There were people from other countries who looked at me in disbelief when I said the train was just cancelled.'
Hers is not the only sense of national pride to receive a battering on the railways.
Anne Davidson-Lund, assistant director of the National Centre for Languages, travels by rail as often as she can.
When she moved to Onston in her native North West, she was confident the convenience of Hartford railway station would offset any disadvantages of being away from the capital. But four years on, she's given up trying to use it.
'I was a great advocate of rail travel and I told my friends how agreeable it was,' she said. 'I wouldn't say that to anybody these days.
'I have never, anywhere in the world, encountered such an appalling service as we are subjected to in this country.'
Paul Eadie, a DTI export promoter from Antrobus who travels to London at least twice a week, is tired of seeing Virgin trains speed through Hartford and says rail companies should be made to pay for the losses passengers suffer as a consequence of breakdowns and hold-ups.