British Network Rail station, Manchester Piccadilly

Project: British Network Rail station, Manchester Piccadilly

As part of one of the single largest entrance mat contracts ever placed in Europe, the well known British Network Rail station, Manchester Piccadilly, has recently undergone an extensive safety upgrade. The City’s principal station accommodates over 98 million people annually so issues of safety were key to the specification process, and the entrance flooring system chosen had to perform to the highest level of functionally as well as add to the aesthetics of the station.  For these reasons, Forbo Flooring System’s Nuway Tuftiguard HD and Coral Brush Activ entrance products were specified offering a durable, attractive and effective integrated system for the entrance areas.

One of nine stations that are part of the upgrade by Network Rail, Manchester Piccadilly is the largest and busiest of the five city-centre railway stations in central Manchester and Salford. With such an extreme volume of traffic passing through the doors on a regular basis, the entrance and exits required an entrance matting system that would withstand intensive use.  It also needed to be suitable for wheeled traffic due to the number of passengers travelling with luggage.  Considering the size of the project, the collaborative approach between Forbo Flooring Systems, installers and client from the beginning, led to a successful relationship, specification of product and running of the project throughout.

Sam Webb, Director at Master Matting Installations in Halifax, sub-contractors to Amco on this project, comments: “The main priority was safety, and so this project required a heavy duty entrance barrier matting system for internal use that would be highly effective at removing and retaining moisture and dirt within the entrance system to prevent any hazardous areas on the interior floor that people might slip on - a key consideration for all publicly accessed buildings.  The heavy and frequent traffic throughout the station includes wheeled vehicles and heavy suitcases, so another requirement for the flooring was the load bearing capabilities and performance, whilst achieving an aesthetically pleasing appearance.” 

Forbo’s Nuway Tuftiguard engineered flooring was installed by Master Matting Installations – an approved Forbo Entrance Systems Specialist Installer (FESSI), as it exceeded all the requirements of the brief. In addition, the contractors were extremely familiar with the system and its reliable performance qualities, having used the products before on numerous commercial projects.

Forbo’s Nuway Tuftiguard HD classic was ideally suited to this application, with a heavy pile double wiper strip and unique aluminium scraper bar design.  The engineered product is able to cope with the worst of the soil and moisture tracked in on the soles of shoes or wheeled vehicles.  Pivotal in protecting people from slips, the highly effective entrance flooring system is the best method of preventing wet and dry soiling from causing serious hazards.  Furthermore, as Tuftiguard HD can withstand static loads of up to 900kg/cm² and has a level surface for ease of movement of wheeled vehicles and luggage, it proved ideal for the installation.

Additionally for this project, Coral Brush Activ anthracite was used alongside Nuway Tuftiguard.  Whilst Nuway was used in the areas with the heaviest footfall, Coral was used in the areas at the side of the entrance where the footfall was less heavy.  It provided the most cost effective solution and retained the integrated look of the whole entrance.  Forbo offers textile and engineered entrance products that are intended to work together and with other floor coverings, to create a streamlined appearance throughout the building.  This zoned approach provides the most effective barrier against footborne dirt and moisture, protecting the rest of the flooring scheme from soiling and damage but, more importantly, reducing the risk of slips and falls.

Sam Webb said: “We have worked with Forbo Flooring Systems for more than 20 years and have no hesitation in recommending them to our clients.  We have always been very impressed with the professional service and high quality, high performance products.”

Peter Rock, Project Manager at Network Rail, states: “With the amount of people entering the station at any one time, safety is our number one concern.  Having had Forbo’s effective Entrance System products installed by a FESSI contractor, we are confident that the entrance areas will effectively keep the interior floor surfaces clean and dry to minimise the likelihood of slips and retain its smart appearance for many years to come.”

For more information on Nuway Tuftiguard and Coral entrance systems, please visit