Platforms 13 and 14 at Manchester Piccadilly are now being treated like ‘a station within a station’ to improve peak times for passengers. Platforms 13 and 14 are the busiest at Manchester Piccadilly station with trains to many different destinations, including Manchester Airport, Leeds, Newcastle, Liverpool and Scotland. Up to 40,000 people use the station’s only two through platforms each day – that’s equal to all of Nottingham station’s seven platforms combined. With platforms 13 and 14 handling so many passengers, they can get heavily congested during the morning and evening rush hours and when there is unplanned disruption.
After a major rethink, the two through platforms will now be managed independently from the rest of Manchester Piccadilly.
The changes for passengers include:
A dedicated team of 12 new customer relations staff and four supervisors to keep passengers moving safely and provide travel advice.
New Customer Information Screens in the airport style satellite lounge and station staff information screens on the platforms.
New charging points, extra seating, free water points and free toilet facilities in the departure lounge.
More safe waiting space along the platforms and behind the red line.
Platform windbreaks to protect passengers from bad weather.
James Metcalfe, shift station manager for platforms 13 and 14, said: 'For too long passengers have not been getting the experience they deserve when using platforms 13 and 14. These changes will greatly improve travel for customers and my team will be a new friendly face for passengers to keep them moving safely to and from platforms and on and off their trains.
In 2019, Transport Focus undertook research to ask passengers about their experience using platforms 13 and 14 at Manchester Piccadilly station, using the feedback to help Network Rail and the train companies improve the experience for passengers.
'All staff will know the timetable inside out and will work as one team with our train operator colleagues to make sure platforms 13 and 14 truly become Piccadilly’s ‘station within a station’.'
Chris Jackson, regional director for Northern, said: 'It’s fantastic to see the rail industry work together for the benefit of customers. The improvements at Piccadilly – together with the commitment of the new team – are making a real difference and giving customers on platforms 13 and 14 a better service than ever before.'
Billy Vickers, group stations manager, Manchester Hub for TransPennine Express, said: 'We have enjoyed working on this project, and it is great to see it finally come together. There is no doubt that these changes will improve customers’ experience of travelling to and from these platforms, and with the extra waiting facilities provided it should hopefully be a much more enjoyable experience too.'
These latest improvements follow new ways of managing passenger flows introduced last year – the satellite waiting room now works like an airport departure gate during peak times, encouraging passengers to only go down to platforms 13 and 14 when their train is about to arrive.
Drivers have also been instructed to stop trains in the same place on the platforms so that passengers can wait along their full length.
This has helped quicken passenger drop off and pick up, preventing trains backing up before passing through the platforms.
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