Deansgate active travel, Manchester City Council, p Manchester City Council

Manchester City Council is aiming for 90% of all peak morning trips to be made via active travel or public transport by 2040. Credit: via Manchester City Council

Manchester eyes summer start for Deansgate improvement works

In a bid to help encourage active travel in the city centre, the city council has detailed its plans for a slew of changes to the prominent road and its neighbours – all funded with Active Travel Fund cash.

Manchester City Council’s to-do list includes installing a CYCLOPS junction at Peter Street and Quay Street; planting trees, shrubs, and rain gardens on Whitworth Street West, Old Deansgate, and Chester Road; and adding a zebra crossing at the junction of Great Jackson Street and Chester Road.

The £4m plans also call for integrating bus stops and cycle lanes to allow cyclists a safe way to pass stopped busses. Other bus stops would be relocated to “optimal” locations, according to the council.

More disabled parking bays would also be created by the initiative. You can see the full list of changes at

“Transforming the way in which we get around Manchester is a key ambition of the council in the coming years,” said Cllr Tracey Rawlins, executive member for environment and transport at the council.

“From a car-dominated model we want to encourage more people to walk, wheel, or use public transport to get around,” she continued.

“But in order to encourage this change we need to reimagine the infrastructure across our city. By giving over more space to pedestrian and cyclists we hope to encourage a shift towards more environmentally friendly ways of travelling, as well as finding new ways to boost people’s health and wellbeing.”

The project builds from feedback gathered from two consultation exercises, one from 2021 and the other from 2022.

With final designs in place and cash in hand, all that stands in the way of the work beginning is the approval of a Traffic Regulation Order. If that can be secured, the city council said work will begin this summer.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy

Seems like a good idea

By Jo

This part of the city now feels absolutely desolate since the traffic has totally stopped, showing what has happened to retail and hospitality there.

By Mr C

We need to go this with all town centres around GM, create 15 minute cities on all of them.encourage peiople to work, eat and shop closer to home and spread people around the region more and away from the city centre traffic and buses, if you live in the city centre, walk through the city centre but if you live in Stockport, cycle through Stockport, same for Oldham etc.

By Dan

The trees sound good but there should be a continuum of trees from Cathedral Gardens right up to the Wildflower garden at the Hulme Roundabout. Make this into an Avenue.

By Elephant

They need to deal with the roads that traffic has now had to divert to since closing Deansgate. Can’t get out of bridge street without going past the construction nightmare at Quay Street, takes about 15 minutes to get through the traffic lights!!

By Louis

This is all slowly coming together. Some of the schemes haven’t been perfect but REALLY pleased to see transport infrastructure being developed that focuses on human beings rather than machines.

By Mancunian

It’s easy to say they want people to use public transport but its completely deficient and unreliable at best. The plans will simply cause more traffic and result in more pollution. A complete waste of time and money.

Most people don’t drive because they want to but because they have to. Sort the alternatives out before removing the lanes of traffic as set out in the three plans which will just make the traffic situation worse.

By Anonymous

Looking forward to this – the footways were swarming with people over the bank holiday weekend and more space reallocated to pedestrians and cyclists is long overdue. It’ll be great for businesses too – just look at Market Street since they pedestrianised that.

By Active Travel Trev

The tumbleweed will be blowing down Deansgate soon after this gets implemented..I can see it now.

By Dan

Can’t wait til they shut it to traffic completely, it’s far too busy these days

By Anonymous

Deansgate is much more pleasant without the traffic fumes. Can’t wait to see the plastic traffic features replaced with something more permanent. All the people who moan about traffic have the option to park on the ring road or use Metrolink Park and Ride. There are 2000 spaces at Spinningfields and New Bailey alone. If you still need to drive, the option is still there. The city centre’s population is ballooning… and we can’t encourage any more people to drive through the heart of it. The bee bikes, the coming £2 fares on the yellow buses and fantastic trams provide a decent service… we just need the trains sorting out now.

By Fantastic

I’m with you Dan. 15 min. neighbourhoods. Manchester city centre will become the size of say Chorlton and with the same facilities.

By ChesneyT

The city centre is already dying u think this move is right.The shops shops are really suffering .people need to use there cars who wants to wait at bus stops in the rain and cold and with no shelters and So please think again

By Jane

Mr C – have you been to this part of the city recently? This part of town is actually thriving since the first measures were taken to calm the traffic down. There are more and more new places opening and the streets are packed with people. I wouldn’t call that desolate.

By Johnny

There’s a real opportunity to create something fantastic on Deansgate. I can turn a blind eye to the current “improvements” on the basis that they’re temporary. But I do hope they take the time to get this right. Cycling shouldn’t dominate. There should be the use of the space for pop-ups, cafe’s, bars, restaurants, etc.

By Tom

Latest set of proposals look much better for cyclists, especially at the junctions. Once this is done there will be a continuous protected route from Chorlton to the top of Deansgate, excellent!

By Levelling Up Manager

I feel sorry for motorists who think they can’t go anywhere that doesn’t allow cars. They are missing out on so much of life. Enjoy your miserable, grey, desolate retail parks I suppose!

Looking forward to seeing plans for Deansgate and the rest of the city centre come to fruition. Cars bring danger, pollution, smellyness and misery. The sooner they are banished from our cities, the better,

By Anonymous

@Johnny, that’s not true, it’s littered with empty units, Lunya is still empty for example, there is nothing of note on that whole stretch, stop lying

By ChorltonRed

The north-south Deansgate route should be completely pedestrianised. Only Blackfriars, Bridge St, Quay St and Great Bridgewater should be for vehicles, allowing 4 routes in and out of the city centre for those who absolutely need it. You do not need the north to south to get anywhere in the city – it is used as a shortcut only. There is a chance to create something special on Deansgate – a European style boulevard with lots of greenery and outdoor space for retail/leisure operators would be ideal. Cycle lanes in the middle of the street going both directions.

By Thomas J

I really don’t buy the argument that a lack of cars on Deansgate will have a negative impact on the shops, and I say that as a car owner. I personally think it’s a great idea, we have to stop designing inner city spaces around the car, and give pedestrians and the people who live in city centre priority.

If I do go to the city centre I sometimes use the tram, and other times I will drive and park in one of the numerous car parks located on the periphery of the city. From there is not to difficult to walk to where you need to get to.

By Man Man

Thomas, what is a European style boulevard?

By Dan

Dan – usually one lined on both sides with trees and with separate cycle paths and generous pedestrian routes, cars not dominating this.

Civilised urban planning in other words.


A European style boulevard? Tall, grand buildings with a wide multi-lane road leading to a large public space featuring an obelisk/ giant fountain/ statue of national hero.

Something like Gran Via in Madrid or the Plaça d’Espanya in Barcelona.

By Anonymous

Driving into the city centre for ordinary car users should be banned anyway and forced to use public transport.
Deliveries and taxis are a different matter.

By Rodders

I don’t understand why Deansgate isn’t a european style boulevard, with tall, grand buildings with a wide multi-lane road leading to a large public space featuring an obelisk/ giant fountain/ statue of national hero.

Something like Gran Via in Madrid or the Plaça d’Espanya in Barcelona


Market Street, Exchange Sq, Canal St… all the streets that have been pedestrianised over the years are now the busiest parts of town. It can’t come soon enough.

By Anonymous

Hope it doesn’t end up like Copenhagen! Never felt more danger as a pedestrian than there, cyclists flying by from every direction including the pavements. Definitely no place for the old.

By Anonymous

Related Articles

Sign up to receive the Place Daily Briefing

Join more than 13,000 property professionals and receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox


Join more than 13,000 property professionals and sign up to receive your free daily round-up of built environment news direct to your inbox.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

"*" indicates required fields

Your Job Field*
Other regional Publications - select below