In a week that has seen people across Greater Manchester panic buying fuel, two forward-thinking streets in Chorlton have closed off to local car traffic to start conversations on ways to reduce carbon emissions and to drive less locally.
Residents on Burrows Avenue and Westfield Road have signed up to take part in an ‘Open streets’ trial, where roads are re-prioritised for people over cars.
Neighbours on the streets are taking part in the week of change by reducing their own reliance on cars, pledging to walk, cycle or use public transport to work, school, or go to the shops.
Burrows Avenue opened the street for play and conversation from Monday to Wednesday (Sept 27-29) and Westfield Avenue from Thursday through to Saturday (Sept 30-Oct 2) and restricted through-traffic to act as a showcase on what changes people would like to see on their streets and get people talking about ‘who our streets are currently designed for?’
Burrows Avenue resident Mike Lever said: We’ve needed change on the street for a while. The number of cars that speed down this road is scary, especially at night when you feel it shaking the houses.
“These three days have been peaceful – the last time it was anything like this was the first lockdown. It’s given everyone on the street an opportunity to come out and chat again.”
Mary, long term resident on Burrows Avenue and supporter of the project added: “It’s for the kids this. They’ve never been able to play on the street because of the cars. And now look at them, all playing together.”
The project – the first of its kind in Manchester – is supported by Our Streets Chorlton with an aim of getting residents thinking about how they can re-imagine what could be possible on their streets when car traffic was not the main feature.
Daily activities have been taking place from 3pm until 7pm, including e-bike and cargo bike testers, talks on climate actions and the promotion of new car sharing schemes.
Data is being collected from residents across Chorlton through an interactive heatmap on the changes people would like to see to enable driving less. The findings will be shared with Manchester City Council to work on lasting solutions to reduce carbon emissions and get more cars off the road in Chorlton.
Project coordinator Pauline Jonhston said: “It has been so encouraging to see action taken by residents on these two streets. We worked with the streets to develop and deliver a project that they care about and can get behind.
“It could not be more apt timing with people panic buying fuel. There are many alternatives to getting in the car that are better for individual health, air quality, our pockets and our planet.
“The residents here are making the case for change here and elsewhere by leaving their cars at home and trying out sustainable forms of transport.
“Hats off to Manchester City Council and our local councillors for being supportive of the project. It’s a first for Manchester that roads have been closed for three consecutive days with a play street permit and no on-street marshalling required. Only barriers and road closure signage used so that opens up opportunities to try it elsewhere too.
“In all weather, residents have got together to socialise, engage in conversations about climate change and re-imagining a neighbourhood that is less dependent on cars to get about. Now we have more data that can be shared and positive feedback, we can look at longer-term solutions to reduce unnecessary short and local car trips, leaving the streets clear for the people that need to use cars.”
Our Streets Chorlton is a community led project funded by the National Lottery’s Climate Action Fund.
For more information on the project visit here, www.ourstreetschorlton.co.uk and have your say on what you would like to see improved in Chorlton on a dedicated heatmap here.
Meet the couple who quit their jobs to sell sandwiches from their Northern Quarter flat
If you’re a fan of things in bread (and honestly, who isn’t) then there’s a new Italian sandwich dealer in town that you absolutely need to get down your neck.
Serving up some of the best butties we’ve had in a long time, it’s called Ad Maiora and is being run by a couple who are making absolutely everything out of a kitchen in their little Manchester flat.
Collected from a nondescript door on a Norther Quarter back street, we’re talking giant focaccia-style loaves generously stuffed with premium ingredients like ‘nduja, spicy Tuscan sausage, smoked scamorza, mortadella, burrata and red pesto.
The brainchild of Sardinian couple Daniela Steri and Enrico Pinna, all of their sandwiches are made using only top quality Italian ingredients with a total of nine different options to choose from.
From the vegan-friendly La Nonna (Italian hummus, roasted aubergine, olives, sundried tomatoes and rocket) to a huge array of different cheesy and meaty delights, fillings include parma ham, gorgonzola DOP, truffled brie, Milano salami and crumbled pistachios.
Their bread is baked freshly by hand each morning using a tiny domestic oven, and they’re already baking up to 60 loaves of schiacciata (a traditional Tuscan flatbread) a day to keep up with the demand – putting just four in the oven at a time, over and over again.
On our visit, the pair tell us that they moved over from Sardinia to the UK six years ago and first tried living in London for a year (they say they hated it) before making the move up to Manchester.
In that time, they say they’ve fallen in love with the city of Manchester and with the Northern Quarter in particular.
Inspired by the brilliant food scene in their area, two months ago they both decided to pack in their jobs and pursue their own business instead – and haven’t looked back since.
Previously, Daniela tells us she’d worked at hotel Dakota in housekeeping for three years whilst her partner, Enrico, had been employed at Ezra and Gil. Despite their hospitality experience, though, neither of them had made bread before.
That doesn’t seem to be holding them back, though, and demand for their sandwiches is rocketing as word spreads about the new homemade Italian butties for sale on a Manchester backstreet.
Available to order via Deliveroo for collection or delivery, use the code ADMAIORA5 to get a cheeky five pounds off your order courtesy of The Manc.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Northern Belle in Manchester – one of the world’s most luxurious trains with £440 tickets and seven-course dinners on board
A luxury train journey costing £440 per ticket, where passengers walk a red carpet to board, will depart from Manchester this year.
A ride on board the Northern Belle often includes a seven-course dinner, champagne, and on-board entertainment.
The prestigious train, rated by Conde Nast as one of the top 10 in the world, has seven Pullman carriages, each one decorated by master craftsmen in a 1930s-style.
It’s a seriously luxurious experience, with tickets costing anywhere between £295 and £695 per person – which, to be fair, isn’t even that much more than a last-minute ticket on an Avanti train to London…
Trips promise to take in some of the most scenic stretches of Britain’s railways.
The Spirit of Travel lunch departs from Manchester Victoria and snakes its way past Rochdale, Hebden Bridge and Brighouse.
On board, passengers sink into plush armchairs with crisp white tablecloths on the tables between them.
Within minutes, liveried stewards crack open the champagne and guests get a chance to browse the menu created by celebrated chef Matthew Green.
As passengers are whisked through the British countryside, seven fine dining courses are served to their tables, alongside complementary fine wine chosen by Northern Belle’s own sommelier.
Condé Nast Traveller magazine named it in the top 10 train journeys in the world, beating the iconic Flying Scotsman.
They wrote: “It’s all about the food – and the scenery, but mostly about the food – on this lovingly-restored train which zig-zags its way across the countryside.
“The meal services are exquisite, offering fine dining crafted mostly from UK suppliers so you can enjoy classic British fare as the heaths, meadows and dales roll on by.”