The powers that be must reckon that Macclesfield is full of lazybones with the first northbound train departing on Sunday mornings after 10:00. Thankfully, the first 130 of the day does leave at 09:05 but that takes an age to reach Manchester. However, there is another option: using the 130 to reach Wilmslow’s train station. That approach gets you to Manchester by 10:12 and opens up a few more travel options. Booking a taxi starts to bring earlier options from Wilmslow into the fray and there are more again if you decide to go as far as Manchester Airport. Returning to Wilmslow, it seems that Arriva Trains Wales’ apparent stabling of trains in Crewe means a good supply of Sunday morning services since their southbound timetable was expanded at this time. Add to that the fact that Northern, CrossCountry and Virgin all use the station and a good deal of choice is on offer.
It might be the size of the shopping precinct in the centre of the town but I have always been a little surprised by the level of train service that a place the size of Wilmslow enjoys. To an extent, that has always been pertinent when it comes to getting away to somewhere of a Sunday but becomes even more pointed after last December’s timetable changes left Macclesfield with three trains an hour connecting us with Manchester. Is it because Wilmslow feels a little like an extension of Greater Manchester and Macclesfield has pastoral countryside between it and Stockport? I don’t know the answer to that one but I’d much rather it if Northern Rail offered a better Sunday service to Macclesfield than they do. Hopeless is near enough the description that I’d ascribe to it and the timings of Virgin and CrossCountry trains make Sunday service next to hourly when spreading them apart would make so much more sense. As things stand, they look enough of a dog’s breakfast that using buses to get to and from the likes of Crewe and Wilmslow remains a useful addition to the travel arsenal.