Deansgate disruption warning as details of new one-way section and bus gate emerge - what's happening when

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A further section of Deansgate will become one-way as cars make room for more cycle lanes and black-and-white bollards.

Since the start of the pandemic, bike lanes have been put in on Deansgate in an effort to promote walking and cycling in town. Temporary lanes were later replaced by ‘interim’ measures in 2022, which saw the introduction of the black-and-white bollards which are officially called ‘wand orcas’.

The orcas’ arrival came as a bus gate was installed at the northern end of Deansgate, and a section was made one-way to motor traffic — meaning drivers could only travel southbound from Kendall’s department store. The alterations drew the ire of both drivers and cyclists initially, with one regular commuter-by-bike calling it an ‘absolute lethal mess’ in 2022.

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More major changes are being made to the Deansgate traffic arrangements More major changes are being made to the Deansgate traffic arrangements
More major changes are being made to the Deansgate traffic arrangements | TfGM

Now, the council is making more changes to the area. It will install more bike lanes along Deansgate, with work starting next month.

That’s alongside a slew of projects in-and-around the road. Other plans include making more of Deansgate one-way, with cars only able to travel southbound from Quay Street to Liverpool Road, past the iconic Great Northern Warehouse.

That’s alongside installing a new bus gate on Whitworth Street West — meaning cars will not be able to turn left onto Deansgate outside the train station. There will also be ‘improved controlled pedestrian crossings’, ‘better junctions to allow cyclists safe transit’, ‘a rain garden’ and ‘additional pedestrian zebra crossings’, the council says. 

The work will start on August 5 and will run until spring 2025, with the council expecting it to cause disruption to drivers. Tracey Rawlins, its executive member for transport, said: “For several years we have made great strides in improving the transport links in our city centre. 

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“Walking, wheeling and cycling have become key pillars in our overall transport strategy through schemes like this one in Deansgate, we aim to embed that ethos even more across our city centre. In other places throughout Manchester we’ve already seen the benefits of improving infrastructure in this way and I am confident we will see that replicated on Deansgate in the coming months.”

Resurfacing work starts at three junctions, Deansgate/Quay Street/Peter St, Deansgate/Whitworth St West, Chester Rd/Great Jackson St, on Monday August 5. Overnight closures, from 9pm to 4am, will be in place from Tuesday, August 6 to Friday, August 9.

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