One of the city centre’s busiest streets is now a pedestrian and cycle zone during weekend evenings.
Thomas Street is a key part of the Northern Quarter, with its thriving nightlife attracting many visitors and city centre residents.
Following public consultation, Thomas Street is now a Pedestrian and Cycle Zone since Friday 14 June, with the new rules meaning that the street will be open to pedestrians and cycles only from 8pm – 5:30am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, plus from 8pm – 5.30am on bank holiday Mondays.
The same restrictions will be in place on Thursdays when they fall before a public or bank holiday Friday.
During the specified times, motor traffic will be prevented from entering the area by removable ‘Manchester bee’ bollards, which will be located on Thomas Street at its junction with Kelvin Street and Back Thomas Street and adjacent to its junction with John Street.
The trial project will be reviewed within 18 months, to measure the effects of the changes and to consider feedback from residents and businesses.
Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “We are excited about the potential of this trial project, as we have seen examples from around the world of similar schemes which have proved successful in making streets safer for everyone, while also improving air quality and supporting local economic growth.
“Thomas Street is an incredibly popular location and we want to make sure that the area is more suited to pedestrians and people on bikes, particularly during busy weekend evenings.
“We know from listening to residents and visitors that they want to see safe and attractive city centre streets, which are readily accessible for people using different modes of transport. By promoting sustainable travel choices, this scheme will help to reduce air pollution and it’s also consistent with our ambitious goal of making Manchester a carbon-neutral city by 2038.
Motorists are advised to move their vehicles out of the restricted zone before the stated times. For the first two weeks of the scheme’s operation, contact details will be available for those who need assistance to retrieve their vehicles if it is parked within the zone after the bollards are in place.