Up to 25 city centre streets to reopen to cars as emergency coronavirus legislation ends

By Steve Robson

A string of city centre roads are set to reopen to vehicle traffic as emergency coronavirus legislation comes to an end.

Up to 25 streets within the inner ring road were closed to cars under temporary laws brought in by the government last May to allow people more room to socially distance.

That legislation expires later this month and so the majority will have to reopen.

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Manchester council intends to launch a public consultation on whether to make the closures permanent by the end of the year, it is understood.

Some roads are already subject to new plans for permanent pedestrianisation, including Thomas Street, Edge Street and Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter.

A separate public consultation on the part-pedestrianisation of Deansgate was held this summer.

Jon-Connor Lyons, Labour councillor for the Piccadilly ward, was among those who called for all the temporary street closures to be made permanent earlier this year.

A separate consultation on the part-pedestrianisation of Deansgate was held this summer (ABNM Photography)

"Businesses have seen economic growth because of the pedestrianisation and it's just a nicer environment," said Cllr Lyons.

"October is a preferable time for this to happen because it'll be winter soon and people won't be outside as much anyway.

"It would be a nightmare if this had happened in the summer.

"Piccadilly councillors are supportive of seeing as many roads closed as possible across the ward.

"We will be calling on as many residents and businesses as possible to make their voices heard [in the consultation].

"We don't want to go back to having the roads only for the benefit of motorists."

Blossom Street, Ancoats (ABNM Photography)

It is understood Manchester council commissioned a viability report to look into the issue and how permanent pedestrianisation of city centre roads would affect businesses, visitors and residents.

That report has not been published publicly but will guide officers ahead of the consultation.

Here is the full list of roads currently closed under emergency legislation between 11am and midnight:

Northern Quarter

Edge Street

Hare Street

Thomas Street - between John Street and High Street

Dorsey Street

Houldsworth Street - northwest to its end from the junction with Spear Street

Short Street

Back Turner Street - between High Street and Nicholas Croft

Ancoats

Blossom Street - between Sharratt Street and Henry Street (24 hours a day)

The Village

Bloom Street - one way between Sackville Street and Chorlton Street (24 hours a day)

Bloom Street - between Abingdon Street and Sackville Street

Richmond Street - between Sackville Street and Chorlton Street

City Centre

Southmill Street - between Lloyd Street and Jackson's Row

Back Pool Fold - for 17 metres north from its junction with Chapel Walks

Ridgefield - between South King Street and John Dalton Street

Mount Street - between Lloyd Street and Central Street (weekdays 6pm to 12am and Saturday and Sunday 12pm to 12am)

Great Bridgewater Street - Closed for 19 metres from Oxford Street end.

Holbrook Street- for its entire length

Marble Street- between Mosley Street and the cul-de-sac end.

Area around Oxford Road station

Wakefield Street - for its entire length

James Leigh Street - for its entire length

Caley Street - for its entire length

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