Manchester Piccadilly station will become an important station hub as part of the HS2 and NPR infrastructure projects. The current plans by HS2’ is for a new high-speed terminus station on the east side of the existing Network Rail station, approached via a new high-speed tunnel into the city centre from Manchester Airport. Although the new HS2 line would approach the proposed terminus below ground, the terminus itself would be above ground level.
If the new HS2 and NPR platforms at Manchester Piccadilly station are built as terminus platforms as planned, future generation 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. The existing scheme has the disadvantage of significantly slowing down journeys across Manchester, and substantially reducing the capacity on the new station platforms. Our High-Speed Station Square proposal continues the planned HS2 tunnels south of Manchester Piccadilly. Creating an “S-shaped” high-speed rail tunnel below central Manchester that allows train services to pass between Manchester Airport and West Yorkshire via Manchester Piccadilly without having to reverse.
A brand-new public space
Our High-Speed Station Square proposal will create an integrated and efficient transportation hub, and an entirely new urban quarter above and adjacent to the station. At the heart of this is a new pedestrianised square, acting as a spacious forecourt to both the new high-speed station and the existing Network Rail station, and providing a focus for regeneration around Store Street, Chapeltown Street and the Ashton canal.
With the new platforms and concourses of the station built below ground, the ground level is kept free for public realm and new buildings for commercial and civic use.
Above the station new opportunities for commercial development are created, delivering a new business district within the city centre. Below the station extensive arches space can be repurposed as retail arcades accessed from the Station Square.
By keeping the trains and the station below ground rather than on a viaduct, urban severance to the east of the station is avoided. The Square itself is directly linked to the surrounding streets creating a new focus for regeneration to the north, enhancing wider connectivity.
A fully integrated and modern transportation hub
The High-Speed Station Square provides a fully integrated high-speed railway station alongside the existing Piccadilly station, offering improved connectivity and capacity for high speed train services.
The station features extensive passenger concourses below ground to serve the high-speed platforms, and allows cross-platform interchange between HS2 and NPR train services. In addition the new Station Square allows for easy interchange between train services and onward journeys via trams, buses, taxis, cycles and car-share.
A new zero-carbon urban-quarter for central Manchester
Station Square would become a zero-carbon emissions district with private cars excluded and tree-lined pedestrian spaces created, promoting healthy living for all those who visit this modern and vibrant new area. Finally extensive green landscaping creates a walkable environment that encourages active mobility.
Value for Investment in new Rail Infrastructure
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.
Looking wider, the proposal would allow direct high speed train services from Birmingham, Liverpool and Glasgow to Leeds via Manchester Piccadilly greatly improving connection across the north. 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.