Manchester Council moves towards closing off canal cruising site

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Plans to close off a cruising site in Manchester have moved a step closer following meetings between the council and emergency services.

Greater Manchester Police, the council and Manchester and Pennine Waterways are considering gating off the Dale Street area known as the Undercroft due to a spate of deaths and robberies.

Manchester Evening News reports Councillor Pat Karney saying: “There have been urgent meetings between the police, fire authority, the council and river authority. Their unanimous recommendation was that we needed to take urgent action and close off the Undercroft through the night and put gates along the entirety of the canal.

“There will also be ‘grab rings’ put at the side of the canal walls.”

A 25-year-old man died last month after falling into the canal, having attempted to rob two other men.

This year, there have been two deaths in canals in the city.

Manchester’s Lesbian and Gay Foundation (LGF) have said closing off the Undercroft is not a solution.

The organisation suggested safety barriers should be put up, rather than the towpath being gated.

But Councillor Karney said all agencies involved felt closure was the “best option”.

“We have had reports from the police that people are still going down there,”he said.

“While people go down there the robbers will still go down there.”