Manchester residents are being encouraged to provide feedback on new plans for Deansgate – which include pedestrianising parts of the road and the introduction of a one-way system.
A section of the city centre street was closed to vehicles back in May to help with social distancing and support the economic recovery of the city after lockdown.
However, Diamond bus company objected to the plans – forcing Manchester City Council to create a makeshift route for buses to travel through.
But now the asking the public for feedback on a new experimental traffic order – which will make the space between King Street West and Blackfriars Street open exclusively to pedestrians and bikes.
Under the new proposals, King Street to Quay Street will also become one-way only in a southbound direction (with the northbound carriageway closed).
According to the council, the proposals will improve air quality in the area and support Greater Manchester’s commitment to become zero carbon by 2038.
The council has also argued it will make Deansgate ‘more pleasant and easier for pedestrians to get around.’
A new bus gate will be built on Bridge Street at the junction of Gartside Street, meaning only buses would be able to drive out of the city centre across the River Irwell into Salford via this route.
The council stated: “This bus-only corridor door is designed to complement the other measures in the experimental order and to support public transport.”
Impact will be monitored for at least 12 months before a decision is made whether the changes should become permanent.
Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “We believe there are significant environmental and safety benefits to the closure of this section of Deansgate, which should be a safe and welcoming space for people of all ages at the heart of the city.
“We’re making these proposals in support of our vision for a greener and healthier city centre, with cleaner air, more space to walk and cycle and more reliable bus journeys in and out of the city. However, before decisions are made, it’s crucial that we get the views of the people and businesses that any closure would affect.
“If you have views on these proposals for Deansgate, I’d encourage you to share them as part of this consultation, so we can take them into account when deciding the next steps.”
Councillor Roger Jones, Executive Support Member for Transport at Salford City Council added: “When we went into lockdown in March, people commented on the cleaner air and quieter streets and many have taken to walking and cycling for both commuting and leisure.
“We believe that these measures will encourage more people to continue walking, cycling or using public transport and reaping the benefits of that. I hope that as many people as possible will have their say and comment on the future of Deansgate in this consultation.”
To have your say on the proposals, head over to the Manchester City Council website.
The consultation is open until Friday 15 January 2021.