From tomorrow (May 30), Thomas Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter will be closed to vehicles, seven days a week, as lockdown restrictions ease.
Manchester City Council says the closure could be permanent as it will allow more space for people to walk or cycle through the area, or to queue outside local businesses.
Vehicles will still be allowed to load in the street from 6 – 10am and 6 – 7pm.
A pedestrian and cycle zone on Thomas Street was introduced on a trial basis, for the weekend and Bank Holiday evenings only, in May 2019, after public consultation revealed support for the move.
The change is part of an ongoing programme of work being carried out across the city centre and district centres to create more room for people to socially distance, as well as support local businesses.
The council is conducting a review of the potential for extending traffic-free hours for other city centre areas which have already been pedestrianised – including Canal Street, King Street, Market Street and Exchange Street (St Ann’s Square).
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: ‘Making Thomas Street a traffic-free zone seven days per week is an important step forward in our plan to help people come back to the city centre more confidently and safely, as the essential restrictions on movement are gradually lifted.
‘The Thomas Street pedestrian and cycle zone was embraced positively by local businesses and residents after being introduced on a trial basis last year.
‘This, combined with the vital importance of enabling social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19, is why we are now making Thomas Street a pedestrian and cycle zone every day, not just on weekends and bank holidays. We encourage all local residents, businesses and people who plan to visit the area after lockdown is eased give us their feedback on this change.’