High security presence as Manchester tries to ‘get back to normal’

Flowers left close to Manchester Arena. PIC: PA
Flowers left close to Manchester Arena. PIC: PA
Have your say

The people of Manchester have been encouraged to “get back to normal” as the city vows to continue with its day-to-day business.

Less than 48 hours after the attack at the Ariana Grande concert that left 22 people dead, the rush hour streets were busy with workers embarking on the day ahead.

But while the city’s mayor Andy Burnham said it is important to send out a message that the people will not be “beaten”, he also said the city is going through “very difficult times”.

Armed police remain posted at Manchester’s Piccadilly Station, and crowds of people streamed out of the train terminal, while Victoria Station remains closed in the wake of Monday’s attack.

Police were visible inside Piccadilly Station, while outside officers with guns sought to further reassure commuters.

Speaking in Albert Square, Mr Burnham told the Press Association: “People will react differently. As you saw last night, people are coming back out on to the streets.

“It was quieter yesterday, but I expect today to be busier.

“We are making arrangements to proceed with the Great City Games this weekend, and I hope that sends an important message to people, but it remains a very difficult time.

“People will have to be highly vigilant but not unduly alarmed.”

Commenting on the UK threat level being raised to critical, he said: “There was the changing of the threat level, but as I understand it it’s as much to bring in extra resources to free up the police a bit more as anything, not necessarily linked to specific evidence relating to Manchester or additional evidence.

“That’s not to say that people here don’t need to be highly vigilant. They do. And obviously these remain very difficult times indeed.

“But the message from me would be, we must not be unduly alarmed, we must continue to get back to normal, and in the end that’s the best message because we must send it out clearly that we will not be beaten, we will not be divided, and we will stand together.”

Mark Rogerson, a 48-year-old civil servant who was travelling through Manchester Piccadilly said people were trying to get “back to normal” following the atrocity.

He said: “It’s not putting me off personally doing anything. It just seems that people are being respectful to the situation.

“It’s just a sad time at the moment. But I think people are getting back to normal.”

520-home Leeds city centre eco-village could be a world-leader