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Cenotaph To Be Moved For New Tramline

Jonathan Schofield loves some artist impressions

Written by . Published on June 6th 2011.


Cenotaph To Be Moved For New Tramline

Here are some artist impressions. You've got to love 'em, sweet visions of a litter free dream of what may happen. The dirty world is purified, sanitised.

This plan, with the removal of the roads and the re-positioning of the cenotaph would lighten the southern end of the square and allow a far more restful, respectful and contemplative position for the cenotaph at the rear of the Town Hall. 

These impressions come from the consultancy document over the proposed ‘Second City Crossing’.

This is not a subtle attack on Birmingham’s official status but refers to a second tramline across the city.

The reason why we need such a line was neatly summed up in an interview with Confidential a couple of years ago.

The boss of Metrolink, Philip Purdy, told us: “We have to consider another city centre route. We’ve bought 40 new trams and with the existing units and with the new routes, one line across the city centre is insufficient. If there’s a problem now there’s nowhere to redirect trams. This is why we’ve had to (occasionally) close the city centre track.” Click here for the full interview.

The consultation,  on-going until 9 September 2011, concerns a route that breaks from the established line in St Peter’s Square, sweeps left down Princess Street, passing on one side of Albert Square, before turning north up Cross Street.

The tramline then continues down Corporation Street to re-join the existing lines at Balloon Street just as it swooshes into Victoria Station.

The station in a newly pedestrianised St Peter's Square would be re-positioned in front of the Town Hall Extension. The cross marking the site of St Peter's Church would remain in situ but the Edwin Lutyen's cenotaph would move to the rear of the Town Hall. 

There would be a new station for Exchange Square. 

St Peters Square 3.JPGDespite a fear that Exchange Square will become even more cluttered - when is that bloody Big Wheel ever going to Piccadilly? - the plans look generally good. 

St Peter's Square has been a mess around the cenotaph for twenty years, with two roads, the tramlines, the cenotaph and neighbouring garden crammed together.

This plan, with the removal of the roads and the re-positioning of the cenotaph, would lighten the southern end of the square and allow a far more restful, respectful and contemplative position for the cenotaph at the rear of the Town Hall. The loss of the gardens that map out the ground-plan of St Peter's Church could be compensated for at the northern end of the Square. 

There are two niggles. Will the scale of the double station in the middle of the square ruin any sense of this being a real public space and effectively split the square in two?

Secondly, why on earth wasn't the need for the second city crossing considered when the competition for a renewed St Peter's Square was announced and the plans delivered last year. Click here.

Certainly it seems from this plan that the area facing the Central Library will now become the key area in terms of having room to breathe, maybe the kep place for events and public performance. 

Elsewhere the idea of trams hooting down Cross Street is beguiling, and their presence will further animate Albert Square.  

In these straitened times the proposed route is a shorter and more cost effective alternative than branching down onto Deansgate from over Castlefield and approaching Victoria Station that way. If these artist impressions can be trusted, it's to be welcomed.

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield

Subject to successfully obtaining TWA (Transport and Works Act) powers, it is envisaged that construction on the new line will commence in 2013 with the line expected to be in service late in 2016. On 27 June the plans can be studied in the Town Hall from 9am-5pm, on 29 June they can be examined in Exchange Court, Manchester Arndale from 9am-8pm. A pdf of the proposals is downloadable from www.tfgm.com/haveyoursay

 

The debate develops....day three

Cenotaph with poles.jpgJack from the Manchester Modernist Society has been thoughtful enough to spend some time mocking up an unofficial but excellent perspective of the Cenotaph in its new position with all the clutter of the tram furniture around it. This is to make the case for the new site not being restful. I'm not sure it does this. To my mind the news site looks as good as ever, and it does enhance the mouthwatering prospect of the southern end of the square being an uncluttered, clear space - as long as the City can resist the urge to fill it with trees, benches and (oh God please no) any species of water feature. (JS)


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56 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJune 6th 2011.

Where's all this new money coming from, I thought the proposed extensions weren't possible due to lack of budget - how can they suddenly afford this?

Eddy RheadJune 6th 2011.

With the greatest respect you are completely wrong about the Cenotaph ( i sound like someone from Peel dont i?).
This tiny little box im writing in doesnt give me enough room ,metaphorically speaking, to articulate the many many arguments why this idea is very very wrong. For a start off there are about a million good reasons not to do this lying in graves in Northern France and Belgium. Crass, disrespectful cultural and moral vandalism.

the Whalley RangerJune 6th 2011.

Finally! A square with (almost) nowt on it.

Let's see how long the manc psyche can handle that one...

Jonathan Schofield - editorJune 6th 2011.

Eddy, the dead are in their graves in Flanders and elsewhere, including my Great Uncle Harry.

This is not a desecration of war graves but the movement of a memorial that has always been controversially sited. Terry Wyke in his incomparable Public Sculpture of Greater Manchester book, quotes a Guardian correspondent at the time of erection, saying the site was selected 'more or less casually by a number of laymen, acting in a spirit of compromise'.

What's important is that the new siting will place the memorial in an area better suited to marking the losses of war properly. As long as the memorial is prominent and public then that is what matters.

Though I feel that Confidential should conduct a public debate on this, find a room somewhere, get the interested parties it in and chat it over.

Be a third party part of the public consultation.

Jonathan Schofield - editorJune 6th 2011.

Whalley good point about the street furniture. Less is more.

Eddy RheadJune 6th 2011.

My thoughts exactly regarding a public debate. Get the geniuses who dreamt up this idea to tell me to my face they want to move the cenotaph to give it more dignity and not because they are stupid and lazy. I unfortunately cant drag along any of the poor buggers memorialised,who gave up their pathetic and worthless lives for a country which puts some useless flipping trams ahead of their memory, to help me with my cause cos they is all dead innit and who cares about some dead fellas?
I'll save my best arguments for the debate but im not buying the 'compromise' argument. Lutyens was no fool and the cenotaph is sited in the way it is for very good reasons.
And one more thing - that consultation document should be withdrawn immediately because the pathetic 'artist impressions' misrepresent what will actually appear and are therefore misleading and biased. I want to see a proper representation of our clumsy and over engineered tram infrastructure set against the re-sited cenotaph and see exactly how restful, respectful and contemplative it actually wont be.

tblzebraJune 6th 2011.

Why can't they leave the Cenotaph and St Peter's cross, (and don't forget the crypt with the coffins), where they are and move the tram stop up to the Peace Garden end?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Eddy RheadJune 7th 2011.

Because they are lazy and stupid. Thats why.

Hero
Smyth Harper, Manchester City CouncilJune 7th 2011.

Eddy, you're not coming across as the kind of person it's possible to have a reasonable conversation with. Your comments are offensive and wrong, but it's worth other Mancon readers knowing that the proposals for the Cenotaph have only come forward following careful consultation with veterans' groups (including the Royal British Legion), church authorities and other interested groups.

There has been a strong consensus that the current site is not ideal and there is scope to make the Cenotaph more of a focal point, in a better location suited to quiet contemplation and with fewer space constraints for remembrance events.

The proposal to sensitively relocate the Cenotaph were not part of the original plans for St Peter's Square, but feedback we received about the unsuitability of its current location, combined with considerations for the second city Metrolink crossing, means that we have a real opportunity to improve on its setting as part of the wider improvements to St Peter's Square.

We have said all along that we recognise that this is a sensitive and important decision and that many people in the city will have views on it, which is why no decisions will be taken without significant further public consultation. The details of that consultation will be outlined soon.

Smyth Harper
Head of News
Manchester City Council

Eddy RheadJune 7th 2011.

Thanks for your considered but slightly patronising reply Smyth. I am very reasonable person , please dont judge me on comments i make on message boards, i just feel very strongly about this and express it in strong language sometimes. I would like to see the minutes of the meetings with 'key stakeholders' because i think some important interested parties have been left out of these initial consultations - The Twentieth Century Society who are statutory consultees for one - this is a Grade II* listed building after all. Were the The Lutyens Trust consulted?

The argument that the current site is not ideal is no fault of the Cenotaph. Its like killing a sick patient but not treating the disease - the problem is a long and systematic eroding of the Cenotaphs dignity by a variety of lazy and crass enemies. If it isnt being 'cleaned' by people who have no idea what they doing (i concede this mistake was eventually put right and a good job was eventually done) it is being obscured by ugly and intrusive street furniture and badly designed tat that seems to come with Metrolink. The Cenotaph is perfectly sited - all the stuff around it is wrong.

I dont believe there is 'strong consensus' that moving the Cenotaph is a good idea - i just think you have only so far heard the voices of people who agree with this idea. I can assure you that you will be hearing a strong consensus against this grotesque idea over the coming months.

funboi123June 7th 2011.

Oh pipe down Eddy. The guy just said to you there will be a "significant public consultation. The deails of that consultation will be outlined soon".

So instead of crying behind the anonymity of a cartoon on a message board saying "send me the minutes" of who were consulted, man up and go to the public consultation, and ask your questions there.

And to say "I feel strongly about it" is no justification to be an arsehole.

Eddy RheadJune 7th 2011.

Just a couple of things :
Im not crying behind the anonymity of a cartoon - my name is Eddy Rhead. It says it there in red letters at the top. Im quite happy to put my real name to this debate. Just like you have.
I didnt say "send me the minutes" i said "i would like to see the minutes". If you are going to quote what i said back at me try to get it right. It tends to undermine your articulate and persuasive argument otherwise.
I fully intend to man up and engage in the public consultation - i just happened to be sitting here looking at ManCon when the story appeared and i used the opportunity to comment. As you did.
And finally - i dont have to justify being arsehole. Its a role im quite happy with.
That name again ? Its Eddy Rhead.

@rseholes are like....June 7th 2011.

...opinions. Everyone has one.

I wish people like Fun Boi would respect other people's thoughts especially on justifiably emotive subjects such as this one.

It certainly does detract away from your otherwise eloquent argument when you behave in a crass manner, using childish language to belittle others. Damages your argument and credibility, Fun Boi.

PS love the irony of you accusing others of hiding behind the anonymity of a cartoon...or a pseudonym. But I guess you did that deliberately...

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 7th 2011.

Hasn't Eddy done exactly the same thing, by calling people names? Doesn't that undermine his argument? Perhaps both of them should grow up...

Eddy RheadJune 7th 2011.

I called them (whoever 'them' are) lazy and stupid. It was a general observation in the absence of one individual to direct my displeasure at. As no one individual seems to want to put their name to the authorship of this proposal (as is often the way) then i will rephrase and say that this *proposal* is lazy and stupid and if any of 'them' were offended by me calling them lazy and stupid then i apologise. It was late and i was tired and emotional. It was lazy and stupid of me.

funboi123June 7th 2011.

@ Eddy & @rseholes are like...

I am sitting behind the anonymity of my pseudonym because I am not engaging in where the memorial goes, or the tram for that matter. That is not what my rant was about.

I was simply asking Eddy to grow up, and when a member of the council takes the time to give a decent response, that he doesn't need to be such an arsehole (I'm sorry, Ive checked the thesaurus, there isn't a more eloquent or articulate way of describing his manner). Its not often the council members come on here and give good, decent information such as the reply above, and if people like Eddy behave in the manner he is, then they will belittle the site to one that members of the council might shy away from making public comment on.

Eddy thinks its ok to then say, 'I'll be rude if I like because I feel strongly about it'. And I guess in a way, @rseholes are like.. you too are saying its ok to be rude if you feel strongly about something. Im sure half of the young shell suited dressed 12-18 year olds that hang around street corners shouting racial and other types of abuse 'feel strongly', however, most of society would not.

@ Eddy, yes I did mis-quote you, because I'm not trying to be pompous, or articulate, or eloquent (although my pseudonym might lead to believe I'd like to think I am!), I was merely trying to get across your attitude, demanding at the City Councillor, 'I want the minutes'* and like I said before, just go to the consultation and then ask your questions, i.e. "were The Twentieth Century Society and The Lutyens Trust consulted"*?

Then you would come across a much more mature adult, and I wouldn't be here winding you up.

* - Not an actual quote

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Eddy RheadJune 7th 2011.

Why i have come across as an arsehole and who exactly have i been rude too? I acknowledged Smyth's response and thanked him but i felt a little patronised that he thought i was an unreasonable person based on a couple of replies where i think i raised quite valid points. I have the greatest respect for Smyth because contrary to what you say he does come on to Man Con quite a lot and often answers some difficult challenges to the city council. I dont think i was rude to him but he seems like a big lad who can look after himself anyway and after all its his job to deal with arseholes like me and im sure my apparent rudeness will not stop him shying away in future. Incidentally he isnt a City Councillor he is a Head of News and Media at MCC and for the record i think he does a good job. I directed some legitimate questions towards him, not in the hope of an answer , they were rhetorical questions because i already know the answer, but to raise the issue. I was hoping to use this as a forum for, what is, an important debate and had hoped that i had raised some legitimate concerns about this proposal and didnt intend to get into a session of name calling. You seem more interested in me and you say yourself that you arent engaging in the debate around the Cenotaph so until ManCon do a feature solely about how great i am or what an arsehole i am i suggest we keep the debate focussed on the Cenotaph and you express your opinions of me elsewhere.

funboi123June 7th 2011.

Quoting the chap from the council "Eddy, you're not coming across as the kind of person it's possible to have a reasonable conversation with. Your comments are offensive and wrong".

Aside from that, God, I dunno what would make me decide your an arse.

Anyway, I'm bored winding you up now. I'm off home. G'nite! ;-)

@rseholes are like....June 7th 2011.

the things that sit between those two half saggy @rses on the screen above...please ManCon, save my colleagues from the stench of sick that emanantes from my mouth every time I see them and REMOVE THEM FROM THE SITE!

(thanks)

2 Responses: Reply To This...
funboi123June 7th 2011.

Correct. An Arsehole is located between two halves of an arse, perhaps saggy in your case, perfectly pert in mine.

Been a pleasure winding you up today. Nite.

Eddy RheadJune 7th 2011.

Nite. Same time tomorrow?

Jonathan Schofield - editorJune 7th 2011.

Er...I think the point has been lost here. Keep it civil folks or I will take your rants off. Civil and outraged is good, pathetic personal insults turn us into a fans' forum where peculiar United fans attack peculiar City fans and vice versa.

James SpencerJune 8th 2011.

We have a link to the now dead tree plan. But were is the link to the consultation?

Kevin PeelJune 8th 2011.

I love the designs. I think St. Peter's Square as it stands is a mess and the redesign will unlock the potential of this part of town to become a great piece of public realm, with a large open square opening up views of the stunning Central Library from Oxford Road and a more quiet, reflective area for the Cenotaph at the other end.

PS - Jonathan, Second City?! we all know Manchester is the real First City ;o)

1 Response: Reply To This...
Eddy RheadJune 8th 2011.

Im not denying that St Peters Square is a mess but that is no fault of the Cenotaph. All the other flotsam and jetsam is the problem. The Cenotaph is the innocent party here and yet it is that which is facing the dawn firing squad (are you enjoying my laboured WW1 metaphors?). Why cant all the other cr@p, that has no significance or architectural value, be moved to accommodate the Cenotaph?
Are you essentially saying that currently the Cenotaph is inconveniently getting in the way of views of Central Library and getting rid of it, and not all the ugly tram ephemera, is the answer?
And as for a 'quiet and reflective area...at the other end' - isnt there going to be squeeky trams turning a tight corner right next to it and doesnt the three lane Princess Street run right along side?

EditorialJune 8th 2011.

James, it's right on the first page of the click through above.

Jonathan Schofield - editorJune 8th 2011.

The debate has been taken forward by the Manchester Modernists who are against the cenotaph moving with a graphic they've produced - see yellow box above.

JemimahJune 8th 2011.

I'm not in favour of the Cenotaph being moved - for some of the reasons above and for others. Interestingly I worked on the original Metrolink build and when I said about the tram stop at St Peter's was told "oh give it 20 years and then we can bulldoze the place" (!) well.....

Prince_HarmingJune 8th 2011.

I'm not addressing anyone else on this board and certainly don't require a reply from its self-appointed leader.

I too would like to voice positive feelings about these plans. St. Peter's has been a mess for a long, long time and I think this is a functional and elegant solution.

The cenotaph at the moment stands on what feels basically like a pavements as you hurry past to catch a tram or head down Oxford Street. It has traffic running by it in four directions and crossing to it can be a challenge to say the least.

Relocating it to the other end of the square, in an area where is can be set back from the road, made a feature of and have a much larger traffic-free area around it is a wonderful idea. The city needs a second city centre tram line and this is, as far as I can see, a very good fit.

On the subject of the histrionics being shouted about 'disrespect' and harking back to Flanders' Fields to back up a point, I think this solves nothing and just drags an emotive aspect into a conversation that is essentially about planning.

Do you honestly, deep-down, think that the war dead of our city would be outraged (or even mildly irked) that the architectural reminder of their sacrifice is to be moved 300 yards? Into a place with more room to gather and do the remembering that people seem so keen on?

I for one doubt that they would have even the slightest thing to say about it.

And, just to make my own position clear - I'm from a four-generations army family and have respect for the fallen without feeling the need to lionise them to the point of fetishism. But that's just me.

Harry and Jack with packs on their backJune 8th 2011.

Prince I agree. I think the dead would definitely not have the slightest thing to say about it. That's because they're dead. As for the plans I agree that they seem to really open out the square and give it some gravitas and coherence.

Ian ChristieJune 8th 2011.

Jonathan says the more costly alternative to the proposed second crossing would have branched down onto Deansgate from over Castlefield and approached Victoria Station that way. But that wasn’t in fact the proposed route. The second option would have branched off the Altrincham line near Trafford Bar and run for about a mile at street level along Bridgewater Way and then Chester Road and into Deansgate that way.

I wish Jonathan’s idea HAD BEEN been proposed. How fantastic to see trams running along the currently disused viaduct next to the existing tram line then curving and sloping down to join Deansgate near the Hilton (Beetham Tower). Wow! It would also mean the Graded 2 listed viaduct currently in a state of ‘managed decay’ would be restored. I love the idea of the Hanging Gardens of Castlefield if the viaduct remains disused but far better to see it used again by trains or trams.

Separately, the Deansgate option would give much better access to metrolink for the whole western half of the city centre. The current proposal is far too close to the existing line. There could be more stations – say at the Hilton, St Anne’s Square and No One Deansgate/Greengate – rather than the one measly station at Exchange Square on the current proposal. And as the original consultation paper said: a Deansgate line would “help boost the economic growth of the Spinningfliefds, Salford Central and Deansgate areas which are currently remote from the Metrolink”.

I say: bring back the Deansgate City Centre Crossing.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 10th 2011.

The main problem with Deansgate is it would seriously fuck up the east-west traffic flow in the city centre - I can't think of any option to divert the traffic that wouldn't be incredibly expensive. It would be nice but in reality I think it's wishful thinking, for now at least.

Chris BamfordJune 8th 2011.

...erm...did the architects and planners of Elizabeth House have any recognition of, or were they part of any future plan for St Peter's Square and it's transport infrastructure. If not, why not.

If the preservation of the site of the cenotaph is narrow minded, then the same accusation could be levelled at the decisions made by the people who put down the existing transport footprint.

If Eddy feels passionate about this important monument, he's just as entitled to speak out as anyone else... and Eddy isn't alone in his concerns.

AnonymousJune 8th 2011.

No, the centotaph should not be moved out of blatant respect forget the other excuses/reasons on here, although the rant is rarely about the real topic of debate which crops up time and time again with this council of ours: lack of real proper debate as to what the people of this city want (ie: the electorate who keep voting these idiots back into power) as opposed to the monied southerners et al capitalists riding roughshod over this city trying desperately so hard to turn it into a mini metropolis for the London overspill. The city centre is slowly being carved up for the select few to do as they wish with. That is wrong. Once truly public spaces like Spinningfields, Piccadilly Gardens have slowly been taken over by companies like CityCo etc all now private land. Its completely wrong whats happening. The balance sheet is the only consideration for anything these days it appears with regards this city, not language consistent with a socialist labour run council thats for sure.......more a bunch of sell outs to the highest bidder. Then again Mr Bernstein our chief exec does live in Hale Barns and gets black cabs to and from work so says it all......

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 10th 2011.

Manchester exists because of hard-edged capitalism. I wish it were otherwise, but the post-war socialist culture in Manchester was a short blip on an otherwise consistent history of private money making being the point of life in Manchester. I wish our city was some kind of socialist utopia, and I know many other people do, but we all need to understand the historical context that Manchester imposes. Manchester once rivalled London as the centre of British capitalism - to talk of London capitalists imposing themselves is laughable.

Piccadilly Gardens is not privately owned. CityCo is not a business.

Self Appointed LeaderJune 8th 2011.

I agree with Eddy.

Prince_HarmingJune 8th 2011.

I would love it if anybody, anybody at all, could outline for exactly *why* it's 'disrespectful' to the war dead to move a focal point of remembrance to a larger area where more people can attend it at remembrance events and where it will be safer and quieter in the future?

How *exactly* is moving the memorial disrespectful, when the stones themselves and which part of a square they are in are not the important part?

The important part is that there IS a memorial and that it's accessible to as many people as possible, which this plan, as a happy bi-product, ensures.

Jack HaleJune 8th 2011.

I can't really better the words of Aidan Turner-Bishop -

"the C20 Society (and other groups) is concerned that the relocation of Lutyens' Cenotaph [a grade 2* listed structure] is unnecessary.

Its present location was carefully and cleverly considered by Lutyens, one of the century's greatest architects, which is visible along many streets since it is on the site of St Peter's church, which was demolished in 1907.

Lutyens knew exactly what he was designing. The design of the London Cenotaph has no straight lines in it; the vertical sides meet at a point 100 yards above the Earth's surface creating an invisible arch of memory. This is subtle stuff.

The cenotaph is not just another plinth. It is an empty tomb, not just a memorial, to commemorate all those who died in the Great War but who had no known grave. These poor soldiers and sailors were lost at sea or their bodies were pulverised in the horrors of trench warfare. Their relatives (wives, children, families, sweethearts, fiancées) had no grave to go to to mourn their lost men. Many of them were too poor to visit the war cemeteries and monuments in Flanders and Picardy [we are talking about 1920s Manchester].

The Cenotaph was unveiled at a poignant ceremony in July 1924 by the Earl of Derby and Mrs Bingle, a working class lady from Ancoats, who had lost three sons in the Great War. This is why moving the Cenotaph is shocking and disrespectful because it's like moving a grave.

Moreover. the Metrolink tram platforms are being moved anyway from St Peter's Square to the site of the Peace Garden so there should be more room for parades and ceremonies when the clumsily intrusive tram platforms are demolished.

Moving the Cenotaph, but leaving the grade 2 listed Cross of St Peter, would split up the Cenotaph and Memorial area since the Cross (erected in 1907) has become a sort of supplementary memorial for the Fallen since the World Wars. The Cross is where it is because it was deliberately located directly above the site of the High Altar of St Peter's church. (By the way, the church's crypt, with its interred bodies, is still in place below the site, I understand).

After World War Two, city architect LC Howitt transformed the square, now complete with Harris’ magnificent Central Library and Town Hall Extension (1938), into the distinct twentieth century landscape we see today, incorporating a Garden Of Remembrance next to the cenotaph to provide a clearer sense of this public space."

Prince_HarmingJune 8th 2011.

"..shocking and disrespectful because it's like moving a grave."

No it's not. It's simply not. It may *represent* a grave, but there's no-one in there, there is nothing sacred to disturb and it's just damned maudlin sentimentality to insist it stays in what will basically be a very poor position once the other alterations to the square have been made.

S HookJune 8th 2011.

Jack, where's your evidence that Lutyens was involved in the positioning of the Cenotaph.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Self Appointed LeaderJune 8th 2011.

Whilst not choosing the area in which the memorial was to placed its very difficult to believe that an architect as meticulous as Lutyens would not have considered the positioning of the cenotaph when he designed it. Its positioning on the axis of 4 major roads and sight lines is not by accident. Do you have evidence that Lutyens had no involvement in its positioning?

S HookJune 8th 2011.

I followed Jonathan Schofield's advice and read the entry in Wyke's Public Sculpture book, in out temporary library and nowhere does it say that Lutyens was involved in the slightest. And that it's always been thought of as a poor site, with an idea to move it to Crown Square in '73.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Self Appointed LeaderJune 8th 2011.

Ive never thought of it as a poor site.

Calum McGJune 9th 2011.

Ian is right. The second city crossing should go down Deansgate. It would be a lot quicker than snaking round lots of corners - after all, our Metrolink is about getting lots of people to lots of places as fast as possible. Fannying around on tight corners is just silly, both in SPQ and Albert Square. Whizzing straight off the current line and straight up Deansgate means you'll be in Victoria far quicker. Finally, the proposed second crossing is far too close to the old one. Where's the penetration? We should be servicing the west side of the city centre IMHO. Rant over. Oh except that the Cenotaph is in a ridiculous place at the moment. Move it. It will then get more love and attention, regardless if we move the trams or not. It just looks like it's in the way at the moment. Give it some love - I don't think the ppl that died for great causes will mind. When they were fighting for us (for which I am grateful), I don't think they were thinking about monuments. I think they'd be pleased if we moved it to a better, nicer place away from Oxford Street.

Anthony McCaulJune 9th 2011.

This subject has obviously caused some debate already but one question i'd like to ask. How are the buses going to get to Piccadilly Gardens if its pedestrainised?

Kevin PeelJune 10th 2011.

I agree with Ian and Ali that Deansgate would be a better route. I'll be asking transport bosses some questions about it but I suspect they simply don't have the extra money it would cost.

Calum McGJune 10th 2011.

Kev, thank you. I'd like to raise it as a valid option and point out that we are always too focussed on short-termism. Let's actually do this properly. Also - does anyone know if there is there an official 'We want Deansgate' campaign? If not, shall we start one?

StretfordSimonJune 10th 2011.

AFAIK, the Deansgate option was rejected as it would mean closing it to cars. It is also a relatively narrow road and any new stops wold have a massive impact on road/pavement space.

Cross Street is also narrow, hence the one stop being in the one place that it fits - Exchange Square. It would, however, have a smaller impact on traffic.

Flexity SwiftJune 10th 2011.

Why can virtually every other major European city manage to have a decent, unintrusive tram network running through its streets without all the palaver we manage to create?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 10th 2011.

I think narrow streets and a small but high-density city centre is probably a big part of the problem.

Jill JillianJune 10th 2011.

what about the idea the MOSI had of running historic trams down Deansgate that way we would have reliable transport and an attraction

EditorialJune 10th 2011.

That's very clever Flexity - with the name - but if you think that all European tram systems run smoothly then you are utterly wrong. Every equivalent of our website is full of stuff about their local transport failings. We have such a narrow mind of themselves.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Flexity SwiftJune 10th 2011.

I was actually talking about the associated engineering and paraphernalia that goes with an on-street transport system - the poles, platforms etc but i get your point. I just long for the days when we could do stuff like this http://bit.ly/ikW8Fh and not have people moaning about the desecration of monuments and such like. They just gone on with it - no public consultations in those days.

AnonymousJune 10th 2011.

Yeah, the brilliant old days when the Victorians trashed a large part of the extensive remains of Mamucium to build the canals and railways, because no-one told them not to! What can't it be like that again! :-p

Jonathan SchofieldJune 11th 2011.

Wow Flexity that massive queue waiting for a tram is impressive. Reminds of Friday morning at Trafford Bar.

AnonymousMarch 18th 2012.

This is a terrible idea because things staying in the same place gives us some continuity down the years. I have a connection with a village where the market cross was moved and, similarly, that was a great mistake.

It is good to be able to stand in the same spot every year and know it is where people put up that memorial in the first place and have stood down the years.

And yes what about the people who are buried under there?

Also I see that the green area with trees on the corner of Princess Street and Mosley isn't there on the artist's impressions. Great! Why does this council hate mature trees so much?

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