Undercroft gate plans now being considered

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Plans are now being considered to place overnight barriers on a city centre canal towpath where members of the public have drowned.

The City Council has submitted a planning application to install the gates, blocking off a stretch of the Rochdale Canal between Dale Street and Minshull Street known as the undercroft.

The safety measures are being introduced after members of the public drowned there over the last few years, while robberies have also taken place at the location.

Other measures to make the area safer, such as installing CCTV and brighter lighting, have all been introduced without success.

The City Council, working closely with Greater Manchester Police, the Greater Manchester Fire Service and the Canal and River Trust – which manages the UK’s waterways – asked residents and businesses for their views on the gating proposal last year.

Following this consultation, it was agreed the gates would only be closed between 10pm-7am – rather than from 7pm as had been originally proposed – as police statistics show the worst periods for crime and anti-social behaviour occur late at night. Access for boating will continue but use of the towpath for walking through will be prevented.

Cllr Kevin Peel said:

"This area is a hot spot for criminal activity and anti-social behaviour and I've received many complaints from local residents who have witnessed issues or report being afraid to walk past the area at night. We've been calling for this gating scheme for the past two years and while it is frustrating that it has taken so long, we're glad it is now moving forward."

Anyone who uses the canal can find out more about the proposal or make comments by visiting www.manchester.gov.uk/planning


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