New Look Deansgate
Deansgate could be permanently closed to traffic by the end of next year

Deansgate to reopen to buses  

Dan Whelan

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. 

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It should re-open to cars but not to buses, there are too many big buses.

By PDM

The marketization of society leads to the end of functioning community.
Read Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation. A pioneering work, based on the industrial north, which explains the origin of the conflict between private and public between the capital markets and human communities.

By James Yates

Controversial point: I hate pedestrian-only streets. Cities are supposed to be where people come together, they’re noisy and a bit chaotic. When you remove all vehicles, they become silent, open-air shopping malls by day…and frankly terrifying by night once all daytime shops have closed. Check out Oldham town centre or Birmingham New Street if you want proof….

By Jack

What about scooters?

By ScOoTeR BoY

At last, a bit of common sense.

By Neil

There is a fantastic opportunity to make Deansgate a destination in itself and more than a mere artery to the city centre. This could be the Ramblas of the North, with a mix of pocket greenery & permanent stalls, huts & pop-up eateries, along with a mix of al fresco restaurant seating with semi-permanent cover for all weather use. It could be a real hive of activity all year around & create a new night time culture that steers away from hen parties & stag do’s to something befitting a city that has aspirations to be a major player along with its European counterparts.

By SF85UK

I don’t get why they want to pedestrianise this section in particular when you’ve got St Annes square completely traffic free probably less than 100m away. That, plus this will just move traffic elsewhere. People still need to take buses and taxis, and they will just clog up other streets instead.

By Rob

Traffic calming, definitely. Pedestrian-centric over car-centric, definitely. Banning personal cars, okay.

Full pedestrianisation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be though, people still need to move about this rainy city and also pedestrianisation often makes areas an unpleasant and dangerous places to be at quieter times.

By Thumbs Up

I suspect this might have been brought about because Diamond operates a route from Ramsbottom to Manchester City Centre which I thought used to go straight down D/G but is now re-routed via Chapel Street. Not particularly useful for anyone who wanted to use that route.

Surely there’s a space for buses to be accommodated in a future closed Deansgate akin to what’s happened on Oxford Road?

By Anon

The best solution would be a 7am-9pm bus gate, the same as Oxford Road. Then narrow the road and you could probably nearly triple the pavement space. Best of both.

By Thumbs Up

The comments about pedestrianised places being quiet and somehow dangerous are dumbfounded and says more about the perception of safety in our city rather than genuine safety concerns.

The traffic will be moved to the ring road, after all that’s what it was built and widened for. A good proportion of the city was demolished to build the ring road back in the 60s – anywhere on Deansgate you can get to from the ring road, not everyone needs or should have the convenience of driving door to door everywhere they want.

By Aaron

Lets get this straight, there’s no need for Deansgate to re-open, apart from some profiteering companies threatening legal action. The less trains, planes and automobiles that congest and choke it up the better. We are moving out of a post-industrial Manchester aren’t we? And if you are complaining that you need to move around the city, then get out your car and walk, it’s not a big place.

By LB

Agree with the comments on pedestrianised areas feeling dangerous at night. Sheffield’s redeveloped moorfoot district is prime example. Nice in the day but sketchy after dark.

By Luke

This actually makes me so angry, when will COMMON SENSE actually return to society. Closing the road moves traffic elsewhere, Chapel Street for example, answer half the size of Chapel Street by adding cycle lanes to it that will make traffic even worse, pollution even worse due to stationary traffic. In the mean time back on deansgate we will leave the traffic lights working so traffic is stopped once again to cause more pollution from sitting traffic while cars and buses come from a closed deansgate. Close all roads if thats what they want…

By Anon

Re-regulation of the bus network can’t come quickly enough.

Looking forward to the permanent re-allocation of Deansgate to people in the near future.

By Active Travel Trev

I think it would be great for Manchester to have Deansgate pedestrianised.

By urbanista

St Anns Square and King Street are dead, Deansgate will soon join them.

By PDM

Strange to compare a pedestrianised Deansgate to Las Ramblas in Barcelona which isn’t pedestrianised – there is vehicle traffic in both directions.
To me it seems strange to do this to such a wide street that was designed for heavy traffic but I am open minded.

By Juan

I’ll be honest, I’m dead against it. People forget that traders need access to Dixons…

By Dr B

Deansgate. Just making sure MCC’s statements on pedestrianisation are noted down as they attempt to water down yet another highways scheme. Keeping Southbound buses and taxis will kill any feeling of family-friendly safety or al-fresco ambiance.

By Deansgate

The problem with pedestrianisation is maintenance. We all know MCCs record in this respect, replace a broken flag with a lump of tarmac. And they need cleaning on a regular basis; the streets in the city are filthy.

By Jim