Stevenson Square is to be designated as a temporary pedestrian and cycle-only zone from Friday 3 July onwards.
The move is part of Manchester City Council’s ongoing work to create more road space for people as they return to the city centre for work, or to visit businesses. It addresses the urgent need to remove motor traffic to avoid the danger arising from such traffic to pedestrians walking in the carriageway, in order to comply with social distancing measures.
Ducie Street, near Manchester Piccadilly station, will also be closed to traffic between London Road and Dale Street from Friday, while Withy Grove is to be made a one-way route, to provide more space for pedestrians.
Stevenson Square and the section of Ducie Street will both become pedestrian and cycle zones seven days per week until further notice, with access for businesses provided from 6 – 10am daily. Buses which previously used Stevenson Square will be diverted along Lever Street to Great Ancoats Street and into Oldham Street, with alternative layover facilities provided on Lever Street. Vehicle access to Dale Street will be provided via Great Ancoats Street.
The Ducie Street part-closure is designed to remove the need for pedestrians to gather in groups waiting at traffic lights and to prevent queueing vehicles from blocking trams and buses on Aytoun Street.
Manchester City Council has already designated a new temporary traffic-free zone to keep people safe on Deansgate and extended the traffic-free hours for an existing pedestrian and cycle zone on Thomas Street, in the Northern Quarter. All measures are temporary to help the public avoid danger from traffic while observing the requirement to socially distance.
Footways have also been widened at a series of busy city centre and district centres, making more room for social distancing as people walk safely between major transport hubs and local businesses.
Local residents, businesses and people who work and travel in the area are invited to provide their comments on the temporary changes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “Making more space for people to get around the city centre safely is absolutely crucial at this time and this is another step towards rebuilding the city in a way that is fit to respond to a number of challenges.
“Action we take now to create new traffic-free zones at Stevenson Square and close to Piccadilly Station will help people have more confidence that they will be able to socially distance appropriately on their return to the city centre, as well as contributing to reducing air pollution and responding to the climate emergency.
“As bus usage is steadily increasing again, we want to protect the long-term viability of our public transport services because of their essential value to communities across the city and their contribution to reducing overall carbon emissions.
“I would encourage everyone to give us their feedback and let us know how the traffic-free zones affect them, so that we can work together to make them a success.”