Deansgate to reopen to buses
A section of the road is to be reopened southbound after bus company Diamond threatened to take legal action against Manchester City Council over its decision to close the road to vehicles.
The council closed Deansgate between Blackfriars Street and King Street in March under a temporary traffic order to allow pedestrians and cyclists more space to socially distance, however, Bolton-based Diamond has questioned the basis on which the order was made.
Subsequently, the city council said it “had little option but to re-open [the road] one way in a southbound direction to buses”.
It added that “the aspiration is that this re-opening will be for as short a period as possible”.
The move to pedestrianise Deansgate was largely welcomed and work to make it permanent is outlined in the council’s transport strategy, which will be discussed at an executive meeting later this week.
Cllr Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s executive member for transport, said she was “frustrated” at Diamond’s approach to the situation.
“We should be discussing bus routes in partnership with operators rather than being threatened with legal action by them and it’s another illustration of why we need to bring bus routes back under public control.
“We believe that closing this section of Deansgate to traffic has been a success and it is something we will endeavour to make permanent as soon as we can, seeking to ensure this re-opening is brief and has minimal impact.”
An order for the new temporary Deansgate traffic regulations will be advertised formally in the next few days, according to the council.