The Majority of Northern Quarter’s Stevenson Square to be Permanently Pedestrianised

The council has confirmed plans to turn the area into a ‘vibrant and economically strong neighbourhood’.

By Emma Davidson | August 3rd '22

Plans have been unveiled by Manchester City Council for the permanent pedestrianisation of most of Stevenson Square – the alfresco drinking hub in the heart of Northern Quarter.

Since 2020, the square has been closed off to traffic on a temporary basis as it was used for the surrounding bars and restaurants to serve customers while they weren’t able to open indoors during the pandemic.

Since then, there have been a number of calls to permanently pedestrianise the space as it has grown to be an attractive city centre location to dine and drink during the summer months.

Following this, the council has now released plans to close three-quarters of the square to traffic for the foreseeable future, with only one area kept open for buses. Other plans include the opening of a cycle lane and the removal of parking bays on Hilton Street.

Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “For a long time the Council has been committed to the full pedestrianisation of Stevenson Square and we remain so but for now we will provide limited access for buses and Hackney carriages in a small area of the square.

“We are pleased that the vast majority of the space in the square has been preserved for pedestrians and cyclists, and we will be working with businesses to ensure they can maximise the benefits of these changes.

“For the Council our bigger picture is being at the forefront of a switch towards walking and cycling in the city centre and turning places like Stevenson Square into vibrant and economically strong neighbourhoods.”

The permanent improvements to the square will include:

  • The pedestrianisation of most of Stevenson Square
  • A two-way cycle lane, which will run through the Square at carriageway level, with cycleway demarcation blocks on one side, and tactile crossings put in place, as well as new signage for cyclists.
  • Pedestrian and cyclist crossings will be installed at the junctions of Oldham Street/Hilton Street, and Newton Street/Hilton Street.
  • Footpaths will be widened in the area to give more space over to pedestrians.
  • Pay and display bays in Hilton Street will be removed.

The council is still yet to confirm a timeline for making the changes to the area.