A preliminary survey of people using Manchester’s gay village has found overwhelming support for plans to pedestrianise the area on Friday and Saturday nights.

During a four-week pilot of the scheme, in which parts of Sackville Street and Bloomfield Street were closed, Salford University surveyed 103 people out and about on Saturday October 24th.

Eighty seven per cent of the people they spoke to thought the pedestrianisation was a good idea and 90 per cent thought that making the scheme permanent was a good idea.

Manchester city council has said that the number of crimes committed in the area during the pilot has also fallen.

The council is now consulting residents, local businesses and visitors to the area to seek their views. The consultation period began last Friday and will run until Friday November 21st.

Councillor Pat Karney, the council’s city centre spokesman 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.”

People are being asked to contact the council to give their views – via email to p.richardson1@manchester.gov.uk, by writing to Pam Richardson at Salisbury House, Granby Row, Manchester M1 7DL or by telephoning 0161 954 9000.