The City Council is planning to install the gates, blocking off a stretch of the Rochdale Canal between Dale Street and Minshull Street known as the undercroft from 7pm-7am.

Their response comes after three people have drowned in the canal there over the past two years, and robberies have also taken place at the location.

The City Council has been working closely with Greater Manchester Police, the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and the Canal and River Trust to find ways of making the area safer and has installed other measures there over the years,such as installing CCTV and improving lighting.

Further measures would also be looked at, including extra lifesaving equipment and chains which people can grab hold of if they fall into the canal, but the council feels this is not enough and lockable gates will be the only way to guarantee safety.

In the meantime, Residents and businesses are being asked for their views on plans to place the overnight barriers.

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester’s city centre spokesman, said: “This area has been the site of some very sad incidents in which people have been confronted by criminals, have ended up in the water and lost their lives.

“We’re determined to make the area as safe as possible and, after working with other organisations to see what can be done, we’ve come to the conclusion that closing the undercroft at night is the only way to guarantee people’s safety.

Residents or businesses with initial comments on the plans are urged to send their views in writing to:

Capital Programme Division
Growth and Neighbourhoods
Town Hall
M60 2BR
A formal consultation will be launched later in the year, with details published on


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