21 October 2018   |  Last Updated 20-03-2015 10:59

      Campaigners ponder next move after Library Walk defeat

      A three-year battle over the future of one of Manchester's most unusual rights of way has ended in victory for the City Council.

      Library Walk, which links the Central Library with the Town Hall, has already had a £3.5m glass walkway installed during the renovation work on the library, but the real point of contention has been the council’s plans to close the thoroughfare at night on safety grounds, with campaign group Friends of Library Walk opposing the plans.

      The group – which enlisted the help of town planners and brought in over 1300 petition signatures as part of their campaign – described themselves in a statement as “deeply disappointed” by the news, and had recently raised concerns about the fact that the council pressed ahead with the seven-figure construction of the glass walkway well before a decision on its primary purpose – to be sealed off at night – had been reached. The group’s Morag Rose, who described the decision “an act of cultural vandalism” in last week’s statement, told Quays News that the future for the campaign is now unclear.

      “We held a meeting to discuss our next move on Monday (16th March), and it was very busy and very positive,” she said. “We are still trying to decide on our options.”

      A planning inspectorate approved the plans last week, leaving the council free to install automatic glass doors at either end of the walkway. The doors will be closed between 22:00 and 06:00. The M.E.N. revealed last week that in addition to the £3.5m that the walkway itself cost, a further £35,000 – the price of the court battle – will also be billed to the taxpayer.

      After the decision was announced, a council spokesman said: “We firmly believe that this link building transforms an underused - and sometimes abused - shortcut into a welcoming walkway and a clear and visible entrance connecting the central library with the town hall extension in one integrated complex.”

      Joe Goggins

      Published by Joseph Goggins on 20-03-2015 10:59