After what had been described as a “serious water leak” occurring in the early hours of yesterday morning due to a burst water main, Oxford Road – near the University of Manchester and the Manchester Royal Infirmary – is currently closed both directions between Booth Street West and Grafton Street.
United Utilities first confirmed it was investigating a leak on one of the city’s busiest roads at around 5.30am on Wednesday morning, before declaring a “major incident”.
Lloyd Street North was also closed, but has since reopened.
GMP City Centre said in a tweet posted at 5.40am: “Oxford Road is closed in both directions between Booth Street West and Grafton Street outside the University due to a serious water leak, causing major flooding on the road.”
A second tweet later added: “Lloyd Street North is closed between Denmark Road and Burlington Street due to serious flooding on the road.”
Those travelling into the city centre over the next week are encouraged to stay away from area, and seek alternative routes.
A series of initial and follow-up statements were also made by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS), and the University of Manchester, and Manchester City Council on the incident, as well as Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Stagecoach and First Manchester regarding subsequent diversions, delays, and cancellations of public transport services.
Here’s everything we know so far.
What is United Utilities saying?
After it some houses and properties in Manchester were left without water, and many with low water pressure as a result of the burst main, a spokesperson for United Utilities said: “Water supplies were fully restored this morning and our engineers are now in the process of excavating the burst water pipe so that we can repair it [and] we will be working through the night and the pipe itself should be fixed later tomorrow.
“We are in discussions with the council highways department about the wider repairs to the road.
“We are planning to work extended hours, seven days a week, to get the damage repaired as quickly as possible so that the road can be reopened. At this stage we believe that could take until the end of next week.
“We are also providing full support to the university so that any flooded buildings can recover as soon as possible.
“We would like to thank everyone for their continued patience and understanding.”
What is GMFRS saying?
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) took to Twitter yesterday morning to say it is part of a “multi-agency response” to the incident.
“This morning we’re part of a multi-agency response to a large burst water main on Oxford Road, Manchester. There is a lot of localised flooding and damage to the road [and] there will be substantial traffic disruption this morning due to road closures so avoid the area,” the tweet read.
A follow-up tweet later said: “Our resources have now left the scene of the Oxford Road incident where they have been supporting partner agencies and carrying out salvage operations at affected buildings.
“Road closures remain in place.”
What is Manchester City Council saying?
A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: “This incident was incredibly disruptive and we appreciate the patience shown by the public today as it was brought under control.
“United Utilities have indicated that the water main will be repaired by Thursday morning. After this is complete the council will be able to fully assess the extent of the damage caused to the road surface and the ground below it and organise repairs.
“A definitive repair timescale will be set out soon once this has taken place.
“Until then, diversions are in place for traffic to avoid further disruption and a single footpath has been reopened for the public.”
What is the University of Manchester saying?
The University of Manchester took to Twitter with an initial acknowledgement of the incident shortly after it occurred yesterday morning, urging people to “avoid the area”.
Although it is not known how much damage has been caused, GMFRS later said a number of the university’s buildings were flooded and several remained behind a police cordon on Wednesday evening.
Much of the area is also covered in mud and silt from where the flood water has drained away.
UofM said a clean-up operation is “well underway”, but that most of the buildings that were closed, including the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons, the John Owens Building for swipe card access only, the Students’ Union and Academy, Stephen Joseph Studio, Mansfield Cooper Building and Whitworth Hall.
The Samuel Alexander Building will be closed until at least Friday.
In an update sent to students yesterday, UofM said: “Our thanks to you for your patience and to those of you who have shared these updates with your friends and colleagues.
“We are grateful to the emergency services and United Utilities engineers who have been working incredibly hard alongside our professional services, cleaning and security staff, and student ambassadors.”
A further update from UofM is expected this afternoon.
What diversions are in place?
The Oxford Road diversion is Moss Lane East, Lloyd Street North, Higher Cambridge Street, Booth Street West and vice versa.
The Dover Street diversion is; Upper Brook Street, Anson Road, Dickenson Road, Wilmslow Road, Moss Lane East, Lloyd Street North, Higher Cambridge Street, and Booth Street West.
Featured Image – Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS)
This Manchester restaurant serves an all-vegan roast with ‘meat’ and all the trimmings
A Manchester vegan restaurant is serving an all-vegan roast with mock ‘meat’ and all the trimmings, putting an ethical twist on the British Sunday classic.Keen to see if it’s worth the hype, I took a trip down to try it out for myself – and left feeling pretty impressed.
Not being a vegan personally, I enlisted the help of two friends of the plant-powered persuasion to accompany me to get a real feel for every option.
Suffice it to say, it was a success and, whilst I won’t be converting to veganism any time soon, it’s nice to know that there are options out there for when I feel like being ‘good’.
With three different roast choices on offer, Wholesome Junkies is the first restaurant in the city centre to venture past the usual vegan choices of mushroom Wellington and roasted squash and go all-out with a variety of mock meat options.
Meats have been created in partnership with Liverpool vegan brand CB Sushi, using their mock beef and turkey joints to give vegans the feeling of a ‘proper’ roast.
Think glazed ‘turkey’ filled with stuffing, medallions of ‘beef’ and crispy deep-fried oyster mushrooms, all served with lashings of onion gravy, ‘buttered’ seasonal greens, glazed carrots and parsnips, deep-fried stuffing balls, crispy roasties and fluffy Yorkshire puddings created by Mabel’s.
Having tried all three, I have to say that my favourite was the turkey. It’s actually my least favourite meat to eat, so it was something of a surprise to find I enjoyed the vegan version much more than the real thing.
The texture was spot on, and there was none of the dryness you typically associate with the bird. Washed down with a pint of locally-brewed Cloudwater Fuzzy Hazy Pale Ale, it absolutely hit the spot.
Coming in a close second was the deep-fried oyster mushroom roast, which was so packed with flavour that it almost felt like I was eating fried chicken with my Sunday dinner.
As for the beef, it didn’t really do it for me – tasting more of herbs than red meat, but then, I don’t suppose there are many vegans queueing up the block for a bloody meat substitute.
Wholesome Junkies has long been a favourite with Manchester vegans. First shooting to fame in 2018 with an appearance on BBC2’s Million Pound Menu, owner Chelsea appeared on the show to ask for 95,000 to open her own vegan junk food restaurant.
Prior to that, she’d been running her Wholesome Junkies concept as a street food pop-up at sites like Grub and Ancoats General Store.
Whilst her bid to impress the BBC judges was not successful at the time, the TV appearance put her on the map and within a year she had her own Arndale market stall.
Fast forward a few more, and in 2022 she opened her first bricks and mortar restaurant – taking over the former Umezushi site at 4 Mirabel Street.
Since moving in, she’s completely transformed it: decking it out in bright colours and filling every corner with quirky little ornaments and decorations.
Strings of fairy lights, hanging mushrooms and frames filled with pictures from local artists all make the small space feel incredibly warm and welcoming – and our visit the restaurant was absolutely packed.
At a time when so many vegan restaurants seem to be closing, it was an absolute joy to see so many bums on seats during our visit.
Veganuary might almost be over, but if you’re a vegan – or simply just trying to cut down on your meat consumption – it’s definitely worth giving this one a go.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
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.