There is a heavy police presence in Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens after a suspicious item was discovered on a bus.

Photos show at least 20 officers present at the scene – which has been cordoned off and evacuated – as well as paramedics and a bomb disposal unit.

Witnesses say they've been told to "leave urgently".

"Police are currently responding to an incident in the city centre," a Greater Manchester Police spokesperson told Daily Star Online.

"At around 1.15pm today (Saturday 5 September 2020), police were called to reports that a suspicious item had been found on a bus at Manchester Piccadilly bus station.

Police have ordered members of the public to leave Piccadilly Gardens due to an incident
Police have ordered members of the public to leave Piccadilly Gardens due to an incident

"Officers are in attendance and several roads are closed. The bus has been evacuated as a precaution and a cordon remains in place.

"Enquiries are ongoing. Please follow @OfficalTfGM for travel updates.

"Anyone with information should call police on 101 quoting incident number 1452 of 05/09/2020, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111."

Pat Karney, Councillor for Harpurhey/Collyhurst, is at the scene and says four ambulances and a helicopter are present, as well as a bomb squad.

One woman says she was trapped in a local pub

"Crowds been pushed back from Piccadilly presume for our safety," he tweeted. "Hearing bus people say there have been three incidents today in other locations."

One woman says she was trapped in the local Slug & Lettuce due to the cordon, and the bar has since been evacuated.

Another tweeted that she "popped into Superdrug" and while she was inside the entire area was blocked off.

Bus services have been redirected out of the affected area

Others say they're "stuck" in the area due to the cordon and the current lack of public transport.

Bus services have been redirected out of the affected area and trams are not currently running through Piccadilly Gardens.

Stagecoach Manchester & Wigan has tweeted: "All services that would normally use Parker Street (Piccadilly Gardens bus station) will start the routes from Portland Street (Outside Yates).

"The services will operate on a load and go basis. This is due to a police incident. Sorry if this affects your journey with us today."