Temporary footway widening schemes are being carried out at more district centres in Manchester, to support the city’s economy by enabling social distancing.
The move will make it easier for people to visit shops and businesses at some of Manchester’s busiest locations more safely, as and when they are able to reopen. It has been announced by the Prime Minister that all non-essential shops will be able to reopen from Monday 15 June, contingent on continuing progress in the national effort to limit the spread of coronavirus and on retailers observing social distancing guidance for their premises.
Available space for people to walk through busy areas is to be increased at Manchester Road in Chorlton and Wilmslow Road in Withington, with work having also been completed on Ashton Old Road, Openshaw this week. Footways will be widened using either heavy-duty Rhino barriers or cones, with bus stops being relocated and parking bays suspended where this is required.
Footway widening schemes have already been completed on Cheetham Hill Road and on Wilmslow Road at Rusholme, plus on London Road and Princess Street in the city centre. Work is being completed in Chorlton district centre this week.
In addition to the newly confirmed sites, a series of other district centres are being considered for interventions which will support social distancing. Residents who believe that their local area could benefit from footway widening work are asked to contact the council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Footway decluttering work is also being planned for the city centre and district centres, with officers preparing an audit to determine whether street features such as signs and poles can either be removed or temporarily relocated, to increase the amount of space available for pedestrians.
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “Making more space for people to socially distance is key to helping Manchester reopen for business as the essential coronavirus restrictions are gradually eased. That’s why this action to help people get around some of our city’s busiest district centres is so important.
“Recovering from the pandemic will be a huge challenge for the city, so we will be doing all we can to help people who are returning to work or visiting local businesses to have more confidence that they can do so safely.”