New technology used at Manchester Piccadilly station has revealed millions of people a year are visiting the station to shop, eat and drink in addition to those who travel by rail.
Figures released today show that while Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) figures for passengers travelling to and from Piccadilly station are 23m over a 52 week period, footfall figures detected by sensors at the station reveal that 28.6m people used Piccadilly over the same period.
The new data coincides with Network Rail’s latest quarterly retail sales figures, showing a healthy overall 5.6% growth in like-for-like sales from January to March 2014, well above reported high street growth of 0.5% during the same period.
Manchester Piccadilly was one of the top performing stations in the country when compared to the same period last year with an increase in retail sales of 8.4%.
Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail, Network Rail, said: “These are great results for our retailers and we are delighted that our stations, including Manchester Piccadilly, are continuing to give them an edge over the high street.
“We know that the growing appetite for rail travel and convenience of our locations are key drivers of this trend, and we will continue to capitalise on this by creating ‘must-visit’ retail destinations across our portfolio of stations.”
The footfall data also helps station staff to safely manage people through the stations and can inform redevelopments, such as removing concourse obstructions and freeing up much needed space to aid passenger flows.
All profits from Network Rail’s commercial activity are re-invested to provide a safer, more reliable railway for passengers and freight.