Alternative plans for Manchester Piccadilly Station could ‘save billions’

An alternative proposal for the redevelopment of Manchester Piccadilly Station has been drawn up by architects Weston Williamson.

The firm says the speculative rival plans for the redevelopment of the station will save ‘billions.’

The proposal is an alternative to the two existing plans for Manchester Piccadilly Station devised separately by HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

It includes a new underground station for high speed rail services and a high speed rail tunnel under the city centre.

Key to the plans is the creation of the ‘s-shaped’ tunnel that would ‘allow train services to pass between Manchester Airport and West Yorkshire via Manchester Piccadilly without having to reverse’.

An artist’s impression of the alternative plans for the redevelopment of Piccadilly
(Image: Weston Williamson)

It would, the architects say, allow direct high speed train services from Birmingham, Liverpool and Glasgow to Leeds via Manchester Piccadilly  and direct HS2 services between London and Leeds would also become possible via Manchester.

“This would have the option of deferring the Phase 2b branch between Birmingham and Leeds and so save several billion pounds,” Weston Williamson claims.

Under the two current proposals HS2 trains arriving in Manchester would have to reverse out of the station before continuing their journeys.

Both existing plans also propose an above-ground terminus next to the current station.

Weston Williamson, which has designed railway stations in London and Melbourne, say if either of the existing proposals are built ‘future generations of Mancunians will continue to suffer the cross-city rail connectivity problems that the city inherited as a legacy of un-coordinated railway planning in the 19th century’.

Its plans also include the creation of a new pedestrianised ‘zero carbon’ public square and ‘new urban quarter’ around Store Street, Chapeltown Street and the Ashton canal.

Architects Weston Williamson says their propsoals would ‘save billions’
(Image: Weston Williamson)

The architects add: “By combining infrastructure for HS2 and NPR into the same integrated project, our High-Speed Station Square offers better value-for-money than developing infrastructure for HS2 and NPR as separate projects.

“The opportunity for extensive new commercial developments adjacent to and above the new station offers the potential for the project to be part funded by the real-estate value of such developments.”

Weston Williamson and Expedition’s High Speed Station Square proposal has been submitted in to response to a call in March from the Government’s National Infrastructure Commission for evidence on the existing proposals.

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