Manchester City Council wants to know what local people think about Deansgate, the main route through central Manchester and one of the city’s most historic streets.
LDA Design was recently appointed with Mott Macdonald to lead the reshaping of Deansgate, rediscovering its role as one of Manchester’s premier streets. Public engagement on the street’s future is currently underway, led by partners Placed. Feedback will shape a new vision and concept design that better supports the city’s ambitions to be zero-carbon by 2038.
Changes to Deansgate will form part of the city council’s transport strategy, which aims to make Manchester’s streets “welcoming, green and safe spaces for all people”, creating thriving places that support local communities.
Named after the lost river Dene, Deansgate dates to Roman times. It is home to city landmarks including Manchester Cathedral, John Rylands Library, the Beetham Tower and Kendals department store, now a House of Fraser and the oldest department store in the country.
Once heavily trafficked, parts of Deansgate were closed to cars during lockdown and have since only reopened to buses, taxis, and deliveries between 6-8am, whilst other parts are still more open to traffic. Narrow pavements, degraded public realm and street clutter help make it a place to hurry along rather than a destination.
The public and local businesses are being asked to comment on four distinct sections of Deansgate. This initial engagement will enable work to continue to make the street a better place to walk, cycle and wheel, with improved air quality, making it safer at night, more climate resilient and a catalyst for wider regeneration. It will also support the Council’s bid for £14 million funding through the City Regional Sustainable Transport Settlement.
“Deansgate is hugely important to Manchester’s history, and any change to it must be rooted in what local people need. We want to find out what relationship people have with it today and what changes they would most like to see,” explains Mark Graham, a director at LDA Design and studio lead for Manchester.
“Deansgate has the ingredients to be compared to the best streets in Europe. Our vision is to realise this potential by placing people and landscape at the heart of its future. So, we’re asking the public what they associate with Deansgate, their preferred travel options, and their hopes for its future.”
Consultation runs until Sunday 26 March and includes a drop-in session at on Tuesday 21 March in the Connect Room, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
Lead image credit Matthew Waring. All other images LDA Design.