Traffic lights are switched as city gears up for Pride Festival

Traffic lights

Traffic lights across Manchester are being changed as the city gears up for the annual Pride Festival.

The festival is taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend and hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take part in the festivities.

Throughout the week some of Manchester’s pedestrian signals in the city centre will be replaced with a range of diversity images by engineering firm Siemens.

Four special designs have been created to represent Lesbian, Gay, Hetrosexual and Transgender relationships, using the widely recognised gender symbols.

Inspired by a similar set of traffic signals that was produced for Bournemouth Pride this year and London Pride in 2016, these unique signals were manufactured by Siemens Mobility Limited’s Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) business.

Siemens has changed 34 of the traditional ‘green-man’ symbols to different diversity symbols, with these remaining in place for the duration of the bank holiday weekend.

The signals being changed are on the junctions of London Road & Fairfield St junction, Whitworth St & Sackville St and finally Princess St & Whitworth St.

Mark Fletcher, chief executive for Manchester Pride, said: “It’s great to see Siemens stepping out in support of LGBT+ people.

“As the charity which campaigns for LGBT+ equality all year round in Greater Manchester, we work hard to engage organisations to provide greater visibility. These diversity images on traffic lights do this is a fun and engaging way.”

Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens UK, said: “We are proud to have worked so closely with Manchester Pride and TfGM on this initiative, and to show our support for the festival in a fun and engaging way by installing these LGBT+ signal designs.

“Diversity and inclusivity is very important to Siemens, and this is a great example of a simple idea of supporting Pride and getting all people in Manchester to engage in a conversation about LGBT+ inclusion.”

Bob Morris Transport for Greater Manchester Chief Operating Officer said: “One of Greater Manchester’s greatest assets is its diversity.

“We are proud, in conjunction with our traffic signals contractor Siemens, to transform some of the traffic lights around the Gay Village for Pride.

“Hopefully they’ll give visitors and residents a special welcome as they enjoy the festivities over the Big Weekend.”

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester Bev Hughes said: “Greater Manchester is known around the world for being a beacon of hope and acceptance for LGBT+ people.

“This initiative is a superb symbol of how everyone in our city-region should be free to express who they are and who they love.”

The Manchester Pride Festival is Manchester Pride’s flagship event with its roots in the heart of the city’s world-famous Gay Village.

The festival, which is an award-winning four day event celebrating LGBT+ life, is made up of The Big Weekend, The Manchester Pride Parade on Saturday afternoon, the alcohol free space that is The Superbia Weekend and the culmination of the festival The Candlelit Vigil.

The event takes place in August, with this year’s The Big Weekend set to run from Friday 24 – Monday 27 August and the Parade on Saturday 25 August.

The Big Weekend is renowned for bringing some of the best homegrown and international artists to the heart of Manchester City Centre to celebrate LGBT+ life and 2018 is set to prove no different.

Topping the bill on the Thomas Cook Airlines Stage will be artists including Rita Ora, Jake Shears, Sigala and Alexandra Burke.