Picc-Vic rail plans could be revived

Rachael Tinniswood

Manchester's Piccadilly and Victoria railway stations could be linked by a tunnel three decades after the idea was originally mooted. The original Picc-Vic plans, which were costed at £100m when they were proposed 30 years ago, were shelved in the late 1970s by a Conservative-controlled Greater Manchester Council. The idea was ultimately overtaken by the Metrolink.

They could now be revived after the Department for Transport admitted it is one potential solution being examined by experts in an attempt to solve the North's rail congestion issues.

The Picc-Vic plans are part of a study announced by transport minister Rosie Winterton, who wants Manchester to become the rail capital of the North through a £2bn network expansion.

If the Government accepted the case for a tunnel, permission would have to be sought under the Transport and Works Act and there would be a public inquiry. Any building work would then by carried out by Network Rail, probably with private sector partners and funding.

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