A section of the city centre’s gay village is being turned into a pedestrian only area from the weekend following huge support from residents and businesses.
A busy stretch of Sackville Street is to be closed to cars during weekend nights from Friday August 3 to improve road safety for people visiting the area.
The street will be closed, between its junctions with Brazil Street and Richmond Street, creating a large pedestrianised zone that also includes Canal Street.
The scheme has been supported by people visiting the village as well as by businesses and Greater Manchester Police who said it will reduce the number of road accidents and crimes in the area.
Bollards will be used to turn Sackville Street into a pedestrianised area from 8pm-5.30am on Friday and Saturday nights as well as on nights before bank holidays and during special events. Emergency services vehicles will still have access to the street.
Councillor Bernard Priest, Manchester City Council’s executive member for neighbourhood services said: "Manchester’s gay village attracts thousands of people from all over the world to the city centre, and this scheme will encourage even more visitors to come and enjoy the excellent pubs and clubs we have on offer, while it was also improve road safety for people visiting the village."
Chief Inspector Sarah Jones from the North Manchester Division said: "The City Centre has a vibrant night life and our top priority is to ensure that people are safe. For this reason, we welcome the pedestrianisation scheme, which adds to the safety of the village."
Andrew Stokes, chair of the Village Business Association (VBA), said: "The pedestrianisation of Sackville Street within the gay village on Friday and Saturday evenings will help create a better experience and safer environment for visitors to the area.
"The geographical layout of the village and the proximity to each other of so many of the city’s LGBT businesses is one of Manchester’s biggest tourism and night time economy assets. Any policy that supports and improves that product has the backing of the VBA."