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Bernstein: 'What We Need Is A New Piccadilly'

Council Chief on funding a new station and seizing London Road Fire Station

Written by . Published on February 9th 2015.

Bernstein: 'What We Need Is A New Piccadilly'

A NEW Piccadilly Station will be a funding priority following the election in May, according to Council Chief Executive Sir Howard Bernstein.

"We will knock it around for the Northern Hub, then again for HS2, then again for HS3, then decide that actually what we need is a new station."

With the extra capacity required to deal with the impact of Network Rail's £600m Northern Hub project (due to be completed by 2019), followed by major work for HS2 and potentially HS3, Bernstein wants to secure an expansion of Piccadilly Station before all the works begin.

“How we approach Manchester’s transport agenda is crucial to our long term success," Bernstein told an invited business audience, "and you are going to be hearing a lot about a new station post-election.

“If we are not careful we will have one or two big building projects – we will knock it around for the Northern Hub and then disappear, then knock it about again for HS2 and disappear, then again for HS3. And then decide that actually what we need is a new station.

“We have to get things in the right order and anticipate and plan for the future. There is a need for a different approach about how we drive station investment.”

Piccadilly Northern HubPiccadilly Northern Hub

Having recently secured a major deal with London and Continental Railways (LCR) for the adjacent and derelict Mayfield Station site - which will become 230,000 sq ft mixed use site including 1300 new homes, a hotel, offices, retail and leisure - the council have turned their attention towards other major nearby sites, most notably the crumbling London Road Fire Station.

The City Council are currently pushing to seize the Grade II-listed London Road Fire Station - listed on English Heritage's 'at risk register' since 1998 - from the negligent Britannia Hotels group for a second time in four years.

“It is clear the owners of the Fire Station do not want to develop the building, and there is no shame in that." Bernstein told the audience, "But what they now should do is sell it to us and we will find somebody who will develop it.

"This site will become even more pivotal to the regeneration framework in the next few years. We have to move the site along and will keep pressing to do that.”

London Road Fire Station 5London Road Fire Station

Sir Howard BernsteinSir Howard Bernstein

Bernstein also discussed the upcoming MIPIM event in Cannes - the world's largest property market conference - where 70 organisations from the Manchester delegation will join over 20,000 delegates and 2000 exhibitors from 93 countries to showcase the best of Manchester's upcoming projects including Manchester Life and the £235m Sir Henry Royce Institiute.

Sir Howard said: “What MIPIM does is give people like me the chance to see what other cities are doing and embrace new opportunities and ideas.”

Asked to pick out cities from which Manchester could learn, Bernstein named Hamburg – “The way it has faced two different directions at one time is very clever, one way to Europe, the other to China,” and Barcelona – “Along with us it is the best example of how a sporting event can transform a city.”

The full conversation can be viewed here www.slaterheelis.co.uk.

(main image credit: 'Manchester Picadilly Station Panorama' by Nikthestoned)

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46 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

TomFebruary 9th 2015.

The projects Bernstein is talking about are probably going to be spaced 15-20 years apart. Trying to comprehensively plan ahead for all of them is misguided. Northern Hub improvements will be completed by the end of this decade. By his logic, those crucial improvements would be held up until the form and detail of HS2 and HS3 we finalised and locked in - which might be 20-30 years from now.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
TomFebruary 9th 2015.

*ARE finalised and locked in

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2015.

Good points. The disruption cost of re-building Euston (currently back to the drawing board for the third time in 5 years) and Piccadilly have simply been ignored by HS2 in working out the costs versus benefits. The approach lines at Euston would be reduced by a third for years for HS2. If you remember the chaos of the West Coast mainline upgrade, now apply that over several years. Meanwhile Network Rail's debt mountain is predicted to hit £50bn in a few years' time so who exactly will stump up to re-build Piccadilly?

TomFebruary 9th 2015.

Although if he suggests a plan that is ambitious and flexible enough to accommodate all three phases before they're defined in detail, I'd be listening. Though I'm not really sure it would be justified (included wiping out and building a whole new station) compared to what has already been suggested, of bit-by-bit addition and alteration.

Nick NameFebruary 9th 2015.

I got the train into Piccadilly last night. It was carnage with the closure of the Mancunian way and the metrolink not running at certain points. As we waited for our replacement bus to take us to Exchange Quay we stood and watched people trying to drop off and collect at the short stay car park/taxi rank. It's very badly planned and you have traffic approaching in both directions and people leaving wanting to turn left and right and it quickly clogs up, you then can't see on coming traffic and it nearly lead to two bumps in the short time we were there. That needs looking at. The station itself has some very short platforms and crushing can be an issue.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 9th 2015.

I was stupid to shut down the metrolink and the mancunian way on the same day, and could easily have been avoided. While those running are transport do things like that what chance have we got of a well designed station?

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2015.

Those pesky drivers wanting to turn left and/or right!!!

Nick NameFebruary 9th 2015.

I know it sounds stupid but if you know where I'm talking about you'll understand. The people waiting to turn into the car park block the people trying to get out. It needs better planning.

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2015.

Also, the taxi drivers that pull over just after the pedestrian crossing alongside that taxi rank/car park to offload passengers prevent traffic from heading east along Fairfield Street which often ends up stoppinig on the box junction.

Wilmslow MikeFebruary 9th 2015.

The splendid train-shed at Piccadilly is Grade II listed - no more civic vandalism please! The HS2 station will be alongside the existing the station and can be built without significant disruption to existing services. Mayfield could have been reactivated as an overflow for Piccadilly (its original purpose) rather than be re-developed for other uses. HS3 will probably run south of the city via the Mersey Valley judging by the initial plans. I am rather reminded of the grandiose 'Trinity' station proposed by the city after WW2.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 9th 2015.

Shame mayfield will be flattened, sure a bit of thought trying to incorporate some of features, such as the magnificent cast iron columns supporting the platforms, rather than working from a blank canvas might make an architect work for his fee and finally create an interesting new development in Manc for a change. I'm sure Bernstein and Leese would prefer to raze manchester and re build it out of Lego.

AnonymousFebruary 10th 2015.

That, Anon immediately above, must be one of the most ignorant and unpleasant comments ever posted on this site.

Jonathan SchofieldFebruary 10th 2015.

Anon, that's why I've deleted the fool

AnonymousFebruary 10th 2015.

Jon with his Mr T impression.

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

HS3 would be better going from Victoria.There is too much congestion at Piccadilly as it. Victoria is now almost ready and there is easy access by Metrolink to it from Piccadilly, and soon Pic Oxford Rd,Deansgate and salford Central will all be linked to Victoria,by the Ordsall curve.

Poster BoyFebruary 9th 2015.

Mr Bernstein playing Monopoly again.

Mr HatFebruary 10th 2015.

Hamburg is a good analogy, Barcelona, less so, different in scale, geography and culture. Hamburg is a fine model but one that has an independence from central government Manchester will struggle to achieve even after 2017's devolution.

1 Response: Reply To This...
MaryFebruary 10th 2015.

Manchester and Barcelona share many similarities - industrial background, world renowned football, great architecture and culture plus the Catalans see themselves as independent from Spain similar to Manchester with its devolution.

Voice of the Ironing BroadFebruary 10th 2015.

So how many lollipop people would the costs of the MIPIM delegation fund...FOI request please.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 10th 2015.

26 and a half.

GimboidFebruary 10th 2015.

FOI it yourself?

Duke FameFebruary 11th 2015.

About the same number of closed libraries that an Alicia Keys concert cost. Far less than a Tiff brouchure though.

espoirFebruary 10th 2015.

what we need is : clean streets. I crossed the city by car on Sunday from north (Prestwich) to south (Levenshulme), bits of litter strewn everywhere, saw many bus stops with no litter bins. It amazes me that a city like this can't put litter picking teams and spotters out at the weekend.

19 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 10th 2015.

We also need better road-markings they are almost non existent in places.

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

Couldn't agree more about the litter. Keeping the streets clean has to become a major priority. The city is dirty, very dirty. Rubbish is strewn everywhere. Take a walk, for example, along the streets around the Arena. Its awful, offensive. Its good to think, perchance to dream, about HS3 and so on. But if it comes it wont be for a long time. Think about now. Initiate a Clean City Scheme and fine individuals and businesses that break the rules.

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

The council are clueless when it comes to street cleanliness, and the bin collecting set up for businesses is simply stupid. Bin bags should not be left all over our busy streets.

Nick NameFebruary 11th 2015.

I was in Edinburgh last week and I couldn't help but notice the huge bins they had. They were the size of wheelie bins if not bigger. There was hardly any litter anywhere and I didn't see one bin anywhere near full. I come back home and and right away you notice we have much smaller bins overflowing with litter. I don't think the powers at be realise just how much people want this issue sorted.

SquirrelitoFebruary 11th 2015.

They do realise, they just don't care enough to act. We need more capacity in the bins, if the council aren't prepared to fund more regularemptying / basic hygiene. I've seen solar-powered compacting bins elsewhere, thay keep the rubbish out of the wind with a flap and then crush down as the bin fills up.

Duke FameFebruary 11th 2015.

It's quite right re. littler. The public are pretty scummy in manchester and seem to throw stuff on the floor but similarly, there needs to be places to place rubbish. The litter issue is what a council should be doing. Whilst Bernstein is wasting our money property banking, he's not dong the basics of a town clerk. I suggest he sack off his jolly in Cannes and get a couple of roadsweepers in along with more bins.

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

The public are no worse than elsewhere. I have German and Spanish friends in Manchester who litter, you can;t blame that on the Manchester public.

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

Great trolling Duke.

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

ManCon Troll 2015 early contender

SteveFebruary 12th 2015.

Ridiculous comment Duke! The littering 'scummy' public that you refer to are prevalent across the whole of this country. The only difference is, in London for example, the Tory government have not decimated council budgets so they literally have a street cleaner on every corner. We need better education and enforcement in Manchester

JoanFebruary 13th 2015.

You might have missed the news items. We have 700 new bins in the city centre, most of them larger than previous bins, and all sporting a Manchester bee. Take a wander and you can't fail to spot one, or dozens. A number of litterers have been issued with fixed penalty fines. Everyone I've spoken to who spends time in the city centre has noted an improvement. There's still a way to go though.

AnonymousFebruary 13th 2015.

Now the council needs to sort the way commercial waste is collected so that we don't end up with rubs from restaurants and bars all over the streets. They could also maybe clean the streets so that they look the colour they're supposed to.

Nick NameFebruary 13th 2015.

Joan, I've seen the new bins, loads of them, and most are overflowing. They are too small and or not emptied enough. The one's in Edinburgh are at least double the size. The biggest new bin I've seen is located in an area where hardly anyone walks, which I can't get my head around. I agree there's an improvement of late, it just feels like we are moving in the right direction, but we are in the wrong gear.

SmittyFebruary 13th 2015.

Well I think Joan's right. The city was in a right state litter-wise, but it's got a lot better in recent months and I've yet to see one of the new bins overflowing (they're plenty big enough). Not to say it's as spic and span as we'd like, but why are people on Mancon so "glass half empty" about everything? Also, I tell people off when I see them littering.

Nick NameFebruary 13th 2015.

I'm a glass half full kinda person and I agree it's got better. Very surprised you haven't seen bins overflowing. I've seen them from Oxford Rd to the NQ, near the Printworks to Chinatown. Really pleased about people being fined for littering. That'll hopefully have an effect.

espoirFebruary 15th 2015.

The litter problem is not treated seriously, it's especially bad at the weekend. All the fuss about the new bins, well the council should never have removed them in the first place. Every bus stop should have a bin and we need teams of litter pickers out along the roadsides and the centre in the evening and weekend. If the place is kept clean then people will stop throwing litter. The police should enforce this like in other countries but our police are useless and invisible, as we all know.

AnonymousFebruary 15th 2015.

Bins overflowing again this weekend, are they emptied at all on Sunday's?

MichaelFebruary 16th 2015.

I love littering. Down side streets and public squares I throw away sandwich packets and empty carrier bags. And I've never been fined. No one ever sees me.

AnonymousFebruary 16th 2015.

that's almost poetry Michael

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

Edinburgh's a perfect example, businesses are required to put litter into large bins which are situated through out the city, it sounds unsightly but works far better, look at NQ and St Anns Square for examples of how not to do it.

AnonymousFebruary 12th 2015.

On the subject of littering...We were on a hotel balcony, last year one summers night in Brisbane and there had been an Emenem concert nearby....THOUSANDS of young people were coming out of the ARENA and dispersing into one of the main stations and the city streets...Once all had passed, about HALF an hour later, could not see one bit of litter on the streets below..Says so much about Australia..Here it would be awash. If you do not drop it it cists nothing to pick up???? WAKE UP MANCHESTER & KEEP IT TIDY!!!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 12th 2015.

What did the concert goers do with their litter?

AnonymousFebruary 17th 2015.

BINNED it if had any?????

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