Thomas Street THING
The street will be open to vehicles for limited periods for deliveries

Manchester closes Thomas Street to traffic

After its decision to part-pedestrianise Deansgate, the council has taken another step towards making the city more pedestrian friendly by closing off the Northern Quarter street to cars from this Saturday. 

The move is part of a plan to encourage active travel around the city and make social distancing easier as lockdown lifts. 

From 30 May, Thomas Street will be closed to vehicles seven days a week, with the exception of daily windows for loading from 6am to 10am and 6pm to 7pm.

As lockdown measures are gradually relaxed, it is hoped that the street, home to a number of bars and restaurants, will return to being a thriving part of the Northern Quarter, enjoyed by visitors and residents alike, a statement from Manchester City Council said.

A pedestrian and cycle zone on Thomas Street, where developer Real Estate Investment Partnerships hopes to build a five-storey apartment block, was introduced on a trial basis, for limited times during May 2019 after public consultation revealed support for the move.   

The decision to make this permanent follows the move to pedestrianise part of Deansgate between King Street West and Blackfriars, which was widely welcomed by the property community. 

Additionally, the council is conducting a review of the potential for extending traffic-free hours for other city centre areas that have already been part-pedestrianised, including Canal Street, King Street, Market Street and Exchange Street. 

Footway-widening schemes have been carried out at London Road and Princess Street in the city centre, with more in the pipeline. 

Such work involves the installation of temporary barriers or cones to create more space for people, with bus stops being relocated and parking bays suspended where required.  

Manchester City Council’s executive member for the environment, planning and transport, Cllr Angeliki Stogia, said: “The Thomas Street pedestrian and cycle zone was embraced positively by local businesses and residents after being introduced on a trial basis last year.  

“Making the 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.”

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Pretty dank looking environment

By John

But where will I park MUH MASSIVE SUV. This is a disgrace, I’m going to shop at some miserable retail park instead. They are soul-less places but that’s fine cause they remind me of myself

By Cheshire Set

Half of Thomas street is derelict, it’s a right mess

By Dan

Good. Now the rest of the city centre.

By the light of the moon

good to see this happening finally,should have been done years ago! Now for stevenson square…

By angry

Worst part of Manchester

By Lee

Great news, should have been done ages ago

By Bradford

About time and to those that call it dank, a mess and the worst part of Manchester you obviously have not spent enough time in the area and clearly don’t understand it.

By NQ Resident

Would be a good time to accelerate the works planned for the Stevenson Sq area.

By Monty

Isn’t the NQ is meant to look a rough round the edges? Hence why so many films use it as a set.

Plus it’s in lockdown so all the shutters are down.

Too many oldies on here!

By Anonymous

@Cheshire Set, I don’t think these people shop in Thomas Street anyway. King Street has been pedestrianised for as long as I’ve known it. Didn’t seem to have stopped them there.

By Edge

I agree with the people who think this area looks too rough around the edges. It wouldn’t hurt to clean it up. Fix the pot holes, put decent lighting in, repath the footpaths, fix up the buildings. These aren’t bad things. It’s just called maintenence. Looking after a place doesn’t destroy its character.

As for the pedestrian areas, this is a good thing and should be done for the bulk of the NQ. This is not an area which benefits from cars. It’s a people place, and as such, it’s focus needs to be on people – whether this is via pedestrianising or the above mentioned maintenance.


Dan and Lee are probably the same person. Always the same things to say. Other names are Merswy and AllRise.

By Anonymous