Albert Square to be pedestrianised

Manchester City Council has confirmed plans to pedestrianise Albert Square and has submitted a planning application which is set to be decided before the end of the year.

The plans would see the square enlarged by around 20%; the additional space would come from incorporating the roads which run around the outer edge of the area, with only the Princess Street side remaining open to traffic.

The refurbishment includes the installation of better drainage, removal and replacement of trees and landscaping, installation of light columns, wayfinding signage and street furniture, and the creation of sloped access to the Town Hall entrances.

The square itself will be resurfaced with granite paving, with yorkstone paving to provide a walking route.

The proposals have been developed by Planit-IE on behalf of the council.

According to a representative of Manchester City Council, plans for the reconfigured square will include the “removal of the concrete barriers, open up views, reduce clutter, improve lighting, and create a new tranquil space around the fountain to enable people to sit and enjoy the square. It will also provide better infrastructure for events.”

Cllr Nigel Murphy, lead member for the Our Town Hall project, said: “Albert Square is in many ways the heart of Manchester, somewhere people gather for celebrations, commemorations and communal events.

“We believe these plans will put it among the very finest and international public spaces, combining Victorian grandeur with modern facilities and accessibility standards in a welcoming, car-free environment.

“Our approach has been to accentuate the things which people love about the square while addressing some of the things which currently don’t work as well.

“Inclusive entrances to the Albert Square and Cooper Street entrances will ensure a dignified entrance for everyone, with no one needing to use a side entrance. This will complement other plans to improve accessibility around the town hall, with new lifts part of the wider plans.”

Albert Square Planit Ie November 2019

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Brilliant – let’s do Deansgate next!

By Anonymous

Buzzing for it

By Everyone

The economic case for this, athough not explicitly made, will be positive Just image how property prices, especially retail and restaurants will shoot up. Name one pedestrian zone that has been reopened to motor traffic because property owners suffered.

By James Yates

Looks fantastic….only comment, would be the lighting. Does look like there is enough

By Steve

Those salmon flags look good if that is what they are meant to look like. St Peters is the best it has ever looked so this will add to what is becoming a beautiful city centre. It is such a shame that they cannot extend the square down to Spinningfields, now that would be something special. The view of the skyscraper district from here in a few years will be awesome. Well done to everyone concerned in their ambitions for Manchester. At last we have an alternative city in England.

By Elephant

Great news, will help show the Town Hall off even more.

By L


By Tha'Knows

Planit ie again? Are they on a retainer with MCC? Do they not have to tender for work like everyone else?

By Hmmmm

Can someone please explain exactly why planning permission is required?

By Anonymous

Looks great – should do the same to Piccadilly Gardens

By Dan

Fab stuff, no doubt they’ll be able to fit more market stalls in too!
I agree, keep up the momentum and Deansgate next please; I don’t think Deansgate should be 100% pedestrian though, certainly wider pavement/narrower roads and maybe open at night.
It would have been great to extend the square all the way to John Rylands incorporating Lincoln Sqare but that’s not going to happen now, sadly.
Keep it up folks.

By Thumbs Up

Not enough affordable housing

By Hiya Guys

About time! Would be great to see more streets in the city centre pedestrianised too.

By Anon.

Very exciting! All for it. Hopefully this will lead to Deansgate joining the party.


Hmmmm….. were you not aware of the international competition to procure the Our Town Hall team? Clearly not!

By Anonymous

Great to see but given the gardeners MCC have I don’t hold much hope for the box hedging

By John

Chewing gum ban please.

By Anonymous

Looks fantastic and will complement the refurbishment of St Peters square let’s hope it also takes in Brazennose Street and Lincoln Square.

By Lenny1968

Looks great, apart from Piccadilly Gardens the council have in recent years created some areas of really good public open space one day they may learn how to keep them clean.

By Monty

Planit-IE ‘s picture towards Belkin Tower with Albert Memorial in center is positively misleading. Has no one briefed them about Councillor Leeson’s Looming Legacy?

By Christopher J Green

Looks great!

Much needed public space.

By Luke

Well done MCC – much needed

By Anon

About time. As a student in Manchester in the 1980s I recall the orange buses queuing up there, spewing out disgusting fumes, little has changed since but this will be fantastic.


By Liver lad

..and nor forgetting an even BIGGER revenue cash cow come the ‘International’ (?) Christmas Market.. and a rent increase as well.

By Mike Taylor

Demolish the whole block in front between Lloyd St, John Dalton St and Deansgate to create a square to match Manchesters ambition.

By John

huge fan of the pedestrianised idea – needs to happen more across the city. They also need to focus on putting more trees and greenery in – hard lancsaping is ugly, bad for drainage and bad for the enviroment. We know green space is good for peoples overall wellbeing so we should be incorporating this into our cities further.

By pete

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