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Work on Manchester Oxford Road station set to start within weeks

Work to upgrade Manchester Oxford Road station is set to start within weeks. The front of the station will be redesigned with new ticket barriers installed in a move which promises to give passengers a 'smoother experience' by alleviating queues during peak hours.

Network Rail is investing £2.7m into the upgrade of the second busiest station in Manchester city centre. However, major plans to create longer platforms in a bid to ease rail congestion are still being prepared, more than a decade after they were first put forward.

Plans to 'remodel' the platforms at Oxford Road and build two extra platforms at Manchester Piccadilly were pulled last year after costing the taxpayer £23m. Network Rail is now developing on an 'alternative' plan for fewer but longer platforms at Oxford Road.

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Work to change the layout of the station building is set to start in March. The work involves installing new ticket barriers, including an extra accessible barrier, and relocating the ticket office window to the front of the station to improve 'ease and convenience of travel'.

It comes nearly two years after Andy Burnham called train stations in Manchester city centre 'dangerous' and 'embarrassing', claiming they have not seen substantial investment for decades. At the time, rail bosses promised that Oxford Road would be refurbished.

Speaking ahead of work starting next month, Network Rail sponsor Gaynor Quinn said: "I am pleased to announce the upgrades at Manchester Oxford Road station, as part of our commitment to improving passengers' experience. The new ticket barriers and the relocation of the ticket windows will streamline passenger flow and create a more user-friendly