Access to jobs is not an answer because the distribution of jobs is not weighted towards Piccadilly, it is much more evenly spread. In fact the main areas to find the highest concentration of offices happens to be on the north side of the city. My train comes in to Piccadilly, but for all the many years I have been working in the centre of Manchester at numerous locations, I would have loved to have had my train be one that ran around the chord to Salford Central & Victoria. Spinningfields, NOMA, Deansgate and now St. John’s are areas of significant employment that Piccadilly doesn’t serve very well.How is access to jobs not an answer?
Personally I'd like to see the signalling centre at Salford moved and Salford Crescent changed to two islands for quality cross platform interchange both ways including the Atherton line, then it doesn't matter. A third platform is very much sub optimal as it reduces the quality of the interchange (though helps overcrowding, but so would shifting the track over and building one larger island).
And Vic needs a total rebuild, it remains an abject fume filled dump. If it isn't going to be possible to dump the Arena, then a mezzanine.
A rebuild of Vic is right down the pecking order, but what is badly needed is a high frequency of services that run from Vic to Pic as if the viaduct network in Manchester was an underground metro.