As railways grew rapidly in the 19th century, a large number of stations were opened in the inner cities, just a few miles from major termini. Many of these stations were short-lived and closed in the early years of the 20th century due to stiff competition from tramways, which could serve the densely populated inner cities far better than trains could.
Ardwick station, on the approaches to Manchester Piccadilly, somehow survived this cull, but is now in danger. The district it serves in East Manchester has experienced a long period of steep economic decline and is now one of the city’s most deprived areas. A lot of businesses and residents have left the area, leaving the station without a source of traffic.