The railway arrived in Prestbury in 1845. A reminder of these times when a rural backwater in North East Cheshire was connected to the city of Manchester by fast public transport is the southern end of the Prestbury railway tunnel which is a Grade Two listed structure visible from the station platforms. A more recent addition is a carved owl at the entrance to the station, created from a tree trunk, which was paid for by Prestbury Amenity Society whose members also maintain planted tubs on the station.
Today Prestbury station is served by the Manchester – Stoke-on-Trent stopping service which runs hourly in the main in both directions during midweek working hours and less frequently in the evenings and at weekends. The journey between Prestbury and Manchester Piccadilly takes just half an hour. The north-south railway line through the village is actually part of the West Coast Main Line (WCML) but the Manchester – London Virgin trains do not stop here and, when Inter-City services were increased to three an hour, the local Northern Rail services were affected. It is hoped that, when the Northern Hub infrastructure investments have been carried out in and around Manchester, it may again be possible to travel directly through from Prestbury to Oxford Road and Deansgate in Manchester (and beyond). However, it is possible to get onto the Inter-City services just three miles to the south of Prestbury at Macclesfield station and there has been a very fast service to and from London Euston (just one hour and 40 minutes each way) since the WCML was up-graded.
Buses that serve the Parish are the Connect 19 and 19X which run from Macclesfield bus station to the Butley Lanes turning circle in Prestbury and back providing an hourly service most of the day up to early evening.
Car ownership in the area is high according to the Census and therefore a significant percentage of traffic is locally generated, but there are also two strategic roads that pass through the Parish – the A538 and the A523 – and the village centre can be reached by road from any direction. In 2003 a 20 mph traffic scheme was introduced in the village centre and this, combined with the flattening out of traffic growth generally, has helped to ensure that traffic volumes through the main street have not grown. The Parish Council is currently trying to get the 20 mph limits extended.
Some parking is available on part of the main street and there are also two public car parks – at the Springfields behind the west side of New Road and at the Shirleys which is accessed off the northern end of Macclesfield Road. All parking is free but there is a time limit to stays on the main street.
Outside the rush hour central Manchester can be accessed by road from Prestbury in approximately 45 minutes and Manchester Airport is a 20-minute drive away.