It could spell the end of street terraces.
If there was one silver lining to come out of the pandemic, it would be Manchester’s street-side restaurant terraces. Spanning the city far and wide to allow locals to enjoy the pub as safely as possible, areas such as the Northern Quarter flourished thanks to the government’s temporary legislation that allowed businesses to expand into the streets – legislation that is set to officially end later this month.
Providing a lifeline to businesses as customers continue to remain wary of Coronavirus, the removal of the street-side terraces is sure to see a loss of income for businesses – many of which have benefited from double their usual capacity over the summer months.
Up to 25 streets in the city centre are set to reopen as the legislation ends, sparking fear among locals that street-side terraces (and the vibrant atmosphere that came with them) will be gone forever. Roads across the Northern Quarter, Ancoats, Gay Village and Oxford Road were subject to the legislation, with many bars and restaurants taking advantage of the extra space. Now, many of those roads will need to reopen to traffic – however, Northern Quarter streets such as Edge Street, Thomas Street and Stevenson Square could be exempt thanks to council plans for permanent pedestrianisation. It is not currently known whether pedestrianisation would mean businesses could continue to trade on the streets.
It’s reported that Manchester City Council will be launching a public consultation regarding permanent pedestrianisation of a number of streets and roads in the city centre.