"It's got worse" - Ancoats low traffic scheme slammed after taxi driver ‘charges at delivery van in his way’

Some people are far from impressed by a new traffic plan in a popular part of the city.
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An Ancoats resident claims a taxi driver ‘charged towards’ a delivery man in his car following a road rage argument.

The resident, John Smith, says he heard ‘screaming, shouting, and horn-honking’ from his flat which overlooks Sherratt Street, just off the area’s hub of Cutting Room Square. After John went to the window, he says he ‘saw a delivery lorry that’s in the middle of the road’.

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“The taxi driver was on the horn and get out and started shouting,” John continued. “Then he got back in the cab… Then he started reversing but he then started charging towards the delivery driver while he was stood behind the lorry. He stopped short.”

John says he then went outside and found ‘four vehicles’ stuck on the road — which he says is caused by confusion over Ancoats’ ‘safer streets’ scheme. The project, which was installed in late 2023, closed several roads to motor traffic, and also made some one-way.

One of those roads affected is Blossom Street, which means drivers wishing to leave Ancoats have to turn right down Sherratt Street, rather than driving straight to the end of the road, where it meets Great Ancoats Street. But John also believes the installation of bollards and planters to make some roads one-way has led to ‘some people abandoning their cars at a dead end’. 

The moment the taxi driver reportedly drove at the delivery man. Image: John Smith.The moment the taxi driver reportedly drove at the delivery man. Image: John Smith.
The moment the taxi driver reportedly drove at the delivery man. Image: John Smith.

“Six weeks ago I could not get out of my building’s car park because it was blocked,” he went on. “It’s got worse. I have never felt unsafe walking around Ancoats but recently I was nearly backed into by a someone doing a U-turn who did not look.”

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For its part, the council said the measures were put in place to stop ‘rat-running’ and the scheme is still in its trial phase.

A statement added: “When consulting with Ancoats residents one of the most important priorities was preventing traffic cutting through the area. As a result trial measures were put in place to prevent rat-running and improve safety for pedestrians or people wheeling or cycling.

“This trial is ongoing and feedback is welcomed from people who live, work and travel through the area – a web form is live on the council’s website where this can be done. Through the development of resident parking schemes as well as the construction of the Ancoats Mobility Hub the council is taking active steps to ensure that people have a range of transportation options at their disposal.

“While the Council has no control over the behaviours of drivers, the area is clearly signposted in line with national guidance to advise motorists that parts of the neighbourhood are closed off; satnavs and Google Maps have also been updated to prevent people using the Ancoats area to rat run. Enforcement officers will remain in the area to deal with any dangerous or obstructive motorists.”

Greater Manchester Police has been contacted for comment.

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