Rouge on a corpse: Salford Chapel Street

Three years ago I was passing through Manchester on the way from Edinburgh to Snowdonia. Took an evening stroll down Salford’s Chapel Street: the main A6 road from Salford Central to the rest of the borough.

They had just completed a Kensington High Street-style “shared space makeover”, with expensive shiny stone paving looking delightfully incongruous amongst the burnt out, hoarding hidden, window smashed, tree topped and tumbling down buildings, and the soot stained churches.

With a “virtual plaza” outside the Roman Catholic Salford Cathedral, where if you can find a break in the speeding traffic on the four lanes of the A6, you can lounge around on the new benches in the middle of this dual carriageway.

I’ve not been back since, so I can’t yet say how successful this regeneration by granite setts strategy has been for Salford.

The filtering of traffic from side-roads is at least a good move.

But overall, the impression one got at the time is of rouge on a corpse. I hope not, because it could be a great location. But perhaps it takes more than a shuffling of the street furniture to make a racetrack trunk road a nice place to live and to do business.

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