Later this month, work will start on replacing the lift, giving access to platforms 13 and 14 at Manchester Piccadilly station.
Piccadilly has 14 platforms, 12 of which are terminal platforms and are next to the main concourse. In contrast, platforms 13 and 14 are located in a separate part of the station remote from the main concourse.
These are through platforms where up to 14 trains per hour briefly stop and then run straight through to Manchester Airport, Liverpool, North Wales, Wigan, Southport, Bolton, Blackpool, the Lakes, the North East, and Scotland.
Renewing the lift to platforms 13 and 14 will make step-free access to them more reliable.
Work will start on Monday 31 January 2022 and last until Monday 16 May 2022. During that time, the lift will be out of use.
However, a new stairlift fitted to the staircase on platform 14 will maintain step-free access to platforms 13 and 14. Throughout the work, staff will be available to assist passengers who need help getting to and from platforms 13 and 14.
Whilst the work is ongoing, passengers who need step-free access or help with their luggage should allow extra time for their journeys. Also, where possible, they should book assisted travel in advance with their train operator.
Alternatively, while the lift upgrade is taking place, tickets will be valid for passengers to travel via the nearest step-free stations.
Further information on the lift upgradeis available at http://www.networkrail.co.uk/ManPicLift.
Scott Green, Network Rail head of stations and passenger experience in the North West, said: “This investment into the lift at Manchester Piccadilly station will greatly improve reliability for passengers.
“We understand the upgrade will be disruptive for people and we are working closely with our train operator colleagues to make everyone’s journey as easy as it can be during the work.
“I’d urge anyone planning to travel via platforms 13 or 14 during the 15-week project to allow extra time for their journey and to plan ahead.”
Stephen Brookes, rail policy adviser for Disability Rights UK, said: “Disabled people have worked closely with Network Rail in advising on and seeking to minimise the impact of the closure of the lift facility at platforms 13/14 at Manchester Piccadilly station.
“We do recommend that disabled people share the news and information where possible. It is important that we all take extra time to arrive early at the station so that we can use the fully staffed replacement stairlift facility provided in a timely way.”
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “Our customers are at the heart of all we do and it’s fantastic to see improvements taking place at one of the key stations that helps to connect people across the north of England.
“While the work is carried out Northern, along with our partners at Network Rail and other train operators, will do everything we can to assist our customers to ensure that their journey is as smooth as possible.
“We really appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding during the work and encourage them to plan ahead, check before they travel and leave a little extra time for journeys while the lifts are being upgraded.”
Kathryn O’Brien, customer experience director at TransPennine Express, said: “It’s great to see that this investment is being made into improving the quality and reliability of the lifts to platforms 13 & 14 at Manchester Piccadilly. While this improvement work is ongoing, we’d advise our customers to plan ahead, especially if they are travelling with any luggage or prams. Customers that require travel assistance can book this through our website.”
Neil Grabham, customer services director at East Midlands Railway, said: “We are working with Network Rail to minimise disruption whilst the lift renewal work is taking place.
“We would recommend that all passengers leave extra time to make journeys and to check our website for updates from January to May 2022.
“We’d like to thank station users for their patience whilst the work takes place”.