Page last updated at 14:46 GMT, Sunday, 8 November 2009

Traffic-free gay village mooted

Canal Street, Manchester
The council is seeking the views of businesses in the gay village

Feedback on a weekend pedestrianisation of Manchester's gay village has been "extremely encouraging", the city council says.

Area on Sackville and Bloomfield Streets were closed to traffic on Friday and Saturday evenings as part of a four-week pilot scheme.

A study of the changes carried out by Salford University found that 87% of people thought it was a good idea.

The number of crimes reported in the area has also fallen, the council said.

'Improving safety'

Manchester City Council is launching a consultation to seek the views of residents, businesses and visitors to the village about the pedestrianisation, until 21 November.

Councillor Pat Karney, of Manchester City Council, said: "We are very encouraged by the positive feedback we have received from Greater Manchester Police and the public from the survey carried out by Salford University.

"The joint aims of improving safety and reducing overcrowding seem to have been a success.

"However, it is acknowledged some operational issues need to be addressed in any future scheme.

"But now we would like to hear from even more people to help us gauge if this could be a long-term way forward to boost business and make visitors feel safer."

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