A councillor has voiced his dismay that a new multi-million pound intercity rail service will bypass Winsford.

Great North Western Railway Company (GNWR) has been given the green light by Network Rail to run six return trains a day between Blackpool and London, and another six return trains a day from London to Huddersfield via Manchester.

But GNWR has announced that the six-carriage Pendolino trains will not stop at Winsford, as initially proposed.

Its scheme to upgrade Winsford Railway Station to a parkway station and lengthen the platforms has also been shelved.

Cllr Mike Kennedy believes travel links are vital to the town’s prosperity.

“Winsford is a growing town, not only with identified employment but with the expectation of well over 3,000 more homes as allocated by Cheshire West and Chester Council,” he said.

“Winsford has marvellous transport links through rail, Manchester Airport and the nearby motorway, that would enable potential home owners to choose Winsford as a place to live.

“How could anyone not see the need for GNWR to include Winsford as a prime stop for their Blackpool to London service?

“There should be the utmost pressure applied by our MP and Cheshire West and Chester councillors to support the future of Winsford.

“Growth may only be achieved by a decent infrastructure. Winsford needs its fair share as the residents feel we are being left behind.”

GNWR managing director Ian Yeowart said: “The original plans for the expansion of Winsford in order for it to become a proper intercity station would have proved difficult.

“If Network Rail permit us to run more trains in the future, then it offers the possibility of adding new stations into our calling patterns, and Winsford would then come back into consideration.”

Providing the plans are approved by the Office of Rail Regulation later this year, GNWR believe the new services will create 200 jobs and be operational by 2017.