Manchester Pedestrianisation Case Study

5 Nov, 2020
Edward Roberts

Deansgate Pedestrianisation Project Background

Following months of the COVID-19 pandemic, with lockdown measures beginning to be eased, Manchester City Council wanted to find a way of encouraging pedestrians and workers back to the city centre while safely adhering to 2m social distancing guidelines.

Subsequently, part of Manchester’s bustling Deansgate, which would usually accommodate a combination of vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist traffic, needed to be temporarily adapted to exclude vehicles in a process known as pedestrianisation.

The benefits of pedestrianisation, such as significantly improved air quality, more aesthetically pleasing public spaces and an increased sense of community, have already been felt during the lockdown as more of the population use public spaces to exercise, rather than using cars or public transport.

Indeed, studies have already shown that air quality has improved to the extent that 11,000 deaths have been prevented across Europe during lockdown.

Project Challenges

A major consideration for the Deansgate project was how to balance these benefits with the additional security considerations pedestrianisation brings. Namely, these revolve around potentially putting the population at increased risk of attack by taking more people out of their vehicles and creating more densely populated public spaces.

Another important consideration when it comes to pedestrianisation is how to preserve the aesthetic appeal of public spaces while ensuring they are safe and secure without creating a damaging “fortress mentality” that can increase the public’s fear of attack.

Choosing the Right Security Solution

Physical security solutions, such as barriers and bollards, are crucial to securing public spaces and deterring would-be attackers; particularly those considering hostile vehicle attacks, which can target crowds of people with equipment (vehicles) that many of us already have access to.

For the Deansgate project, our Surface Guard barrier was chosen as it was the best solution for the project's needs and was deployed by Crowdguard, one of our deployment partners.

It's crowd permeable design and cycle-friendly ramps mean it can protect pedestrians while not hampering or obstructing their movement. Also, being lightweight and quick to deploy, the Surface Guard lends itself to temporary or semi-permanent schemes.

In the past, the Surface Guard has been used to secure such high profile events and public spaces as the Blackpool Switch-On and Blenheim Palace Christmas Market to name just a few. On top of this, the Surface Guard provides crash test certified security, having been impact tested to the IWA 14 standard. 

However, different security measures will be more suited to different schemes, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. While bollards and barriers – such as our own Surface Guard system which has been deployed for the Deansgate project – will be best-suited for some, other solutions will be more suited to schemes which need a less visible security presence.

For example, crash-tested street furniture, such as benches and planters, create a pleasant environment for residents and visitors, driving footfall to the space and the businesses that inhabit it (which will be crucial for shopping districts such as Deansgate moving forwards) while also providing protection against vehicle ram-raid attacks. Deploying these in conjunction with more robust access measures will be key to protecting our public spaces moving forwards, with the balance deployed dependent on the needs of the project in question.


Overall, the challenge pedestrianisation creates will be finding sustainable ways to continue the benefits we have enjoyed so far while minimising threat levels. By working together as an industry to achieve this balance, we believe that Deansgate can become the first in a new wave of pedestrianised public spaces; functional, friendly and inclusive to all. 

Latest Posts
The Shard
25 Nov, 2020
- Edward Roberts
The Shard of Glass is one of Europe’s tallest buildings. ATG was approached to provide a comprehensive, physical security design for the three main areas surrounding the iconic building.
Blenheim Palace Christmas Market
4 Nov, 2020
- Edward Roberts
Each year the stunning Blenheim Palace is transformed into a winter wonderland for its annual Christmas Market. This year our Surface Guard barrier was brought in to secure the prestigious event. 
Highways England
Bsi Iso 9001 2015
Safe Contractor Approved
Sold Secure
Bsi Iso 9001 2015
Bsi Iso 14001
Export Champion 2017
Risqs Verified
Pssa Logo
Free site surveys
Installation team
After sales team
1 year Warranty

Get in touch to find out more

Please tick the box if you would like to opt-in to marketing emails from ATG Access.

See our privacy policy.
Want to know more? Call the Sales Team
+44 (0)345 350 3799
© ATG Access Ltd. CoBaCo House, North Florida Road, Haydock Industrial Estate, WA11 9TP
VAT Number: 156 943 773 / Registration Number: 2643622 Website by Bespoke
Contact our Team

Please tick the box if you would like to opt-in to marketing emails from ATG Access.

See our privacy policy.
Request a Quote

Please tick the box if you would like to opt-in to marketing emails from ATG Access.

See our privacy policy.
Book your place
See our privacy policy.
Ask us a Question
We'll only use your details to contact you about your question See our privacy policy.
We just need a few details

Please provide the information below to access your download.

We just need a few details

Please provide the information below to access your download.