Next week a long-awaited direct hourly train service between Chester and Liverpool is finally expected to resume after being suspended during the pandemic.

There have been several false dawns but Transport for Wales says the service which calls at Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn, will at last be reinstated from Monday, February 12.

Passengers currently face a two hourly direct service during the day and a three hourly direct service in the evening.

Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury, who has kept up the pressure over the reintroduction of the service, said: “I’m so pleased on behalf of my constituents who need the hourly service to get to and from work and college, medical appointments and so on.

Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury.

Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury.

"I have been in regular contact with Transport for Wales in response to frustrations received in my postbag and on social media.

“TfW has had to contend with a shortage of trains for various reasons. But this regular direct service has taken far too long to reinstate, and people’s patience has been tested to the limit.

“Anyway, great news and let’s hope everything goes smoothly when the hourly service resumes because I’m afraid general reliability has also been raised as an issue.”

The service uses the Halton Curve stretch of line, which was reinstated to two-way working in May 2019.

A Tfw spokesperson told Mr Amesbury by email: “I am pleased to announce that hourly services between Chester-Liverpool will now commence on Monday, February 12, 2024.

“Our fleet and engineering teams have been working tirelessly to get as many trains back into service, and as a result, we are now able to operate scheduled services from Monday onwards.

“May I take this opportunity to thank you and your constituents for their continued patience and understanding as we introduce these additional services, and we look forward to welcoming customers back onto the service which runs via Helsby, Frodsham and Runcorn.”

Customers are urged to continue to check before they travel via the TfW website, app and social feeds for the most up-to-date travel information.