Deansgate set to be pedestrianised after COVID-19?

Plans are afoot for big changes on one of the city's busiest streets...

By Manchester's Finest | 5 May 2020

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Manchester City Council have announced that a section of Deansgate is set to be temporarily closed to traffic, as part of a bid to make more space for people to walk in the city and help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The council is finalising arrangements for a closure of Deansgate between King Street West and Blackfriars Street.

This will initially take place under a temporary “experimental” traffic order, allowing officers to assess the impacts of the measure and make any necessary changes, with a view to potentially bringing forward a permanent closure of part of Deansgate.

The temporary closure will be carried out using removable bollards, which can be taken down over a short prescribed period once per weekday, allowing windows for local businesses to accept deliveries.

They’re looking to create an ‘enhanced shared space’ for pedestrians and people on bikes on Deansgate, enabling visitors and workers to socially distance more easily as they return to shops and offices in this thriving part of the city centre.

The part-pedestrianisation will create new space for events and markets to be installed, stimulating activity and increasing footfall as restrictions on movement to limit the spread of COVID-19 are lifted.

By encouraging the use of sustainable modes of transport, it is also intended that the recent drop in air pollution and congestion will be maintained, supporting the city’s target of becoming zero-carbon by 2038 at the latest.

In other busy areas of Manchester, available space for pedestrians is set to be increased by using heavy-duty ‘Rhino’ barriers to create extended footways.

The planned intervention will allow people to walk from public transport hubs to nearby shops or their place of work, while observing social distancing guidance.

The first footways to be widened are set to be on Princess Street and London Road in the city centre. Feasibility studies are currently being carried out by council officers to inform the exact stretches of roads where footways will be widened, with a further series of city centre locations and district centres being assessed for similar interventions.