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I think St Peter's Square could be done better. When Elisabeth House is demolished -- a building that so obviously degrades the rest of the square -- perhaps they should incorporate that space into a wider plan. And if the bus stops were eliminated in front of the library, it would reduce pollution in the area and mean that Central Library, the Town Hall and Town Hall extension wouldn't need to be cleaned so often.

The only major problem with a major revelopment of St Peter's Square, though, is how it would fit round the Metrolink. In hindsight, maybe the Metrolink should originally have somehow been routed down Portland Street on its way to Piccadilly, rather than cutting St Peter's Square in two, but I guess that would be too much of a job to put right.
 

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The problem I have with Piccadilly Gardens, and it's a point I remember raising before, is that it's too messy. The roads around the gardens are chaotic, there are the bus and tram stations on one side which the "pavilion" doesn't completely mask and then you've got the overhead tram wires. While Hulme Park is in a busy, built up area, it's large enough and has enough mature trees for this not to encroach too seriously on the park space.

The only way Piccadilly Gardens could become a pleasant public space (imo) is for the roads, buses and tramlines to be rerouted. While that *is* in the realm of the council, it would also be prohibitively expensive and a logistical nightmare. It's a pity that Piccadilly Gardens is the square most people see when in Manchester while St Ann's Square, Parsonage Gardens, St John's Gardens and the like often go unnoticed to visitors.
 

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I totally agree about the lack of green space in Manchester.

Aside from Piccadilly Gardens, I think St Peter's Square could do with a complete rethink. St Peter's Square could be awesome. On the west side, you've got four of the best buildings in the whole of the city (Midland Hotel, Central Library, Town Hall and Town Hall Extension) and it's crying out for a nice wide expanse of park with a couple of open air cafes so that people can properly appreciate these architectural gems. Instead, it's another open space that's flooded with buses, trams and other traffic.

Sorting out this and Piccadilly Gardens would knock the "lack of green space" argument completely on the head.
 

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I've got it. Get rid of the buses, trams and roads from Piccadilly Gardens, then swap en masse the buildings in Piccadilly Gardens for those in St Peter's Square (like a larger scale version of the moving of Sinclair's and the Wellington). Bingo. A fabulous public space that would be one of the first things visitors would see upon entering the city! And you'd have the Britannia Hotel to throw into the mix.

I'm in the wrong job.
 
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