Avoid travel delays this festive weekend

As we continue to see high numbers of visitors into Manchester for shopping and leisure, major sporting events and concerts, it’s important to plan ahead before travelling this weekend.

Thousands of football fans will be in attendance as Manchester City host Wolves at the Etihad on Saturday 11 December in the Premier League (12.30pm kick-off).  

A fast and frequent tram service runs straight to the stadium’s dedicated tram stop Etihad Campus on the Ashton line. TfGM’s dedicated travel page provides travel advice for the day. 

Fans can avoid the busy traffic by walking to the stadium using well-lit and signposted walking routes from Manchester Piccadilly Station to the Etihad. The journey takes around 25-minutes on foot. 

Later that evening British pop-giants Madness will be playing at the AO arena, with doors opening at 6pm.  

Large numbers of people are also expected in the city centre across the weekend with seasonal shoppers attending the famous Christmas markets. 

Metrolink will have extra capacity over the weekend to help get people around GM, with a peak service running on Saturday and additional capacity on Sundays for the busier routes. 

Due to the two events, plus the Christmas Markets running, drivers should expect the roads around the city centre to be particularly busy between 11.30am and 8pm. If you do travel during this time, expect delays to your journey.  

If you’re still looking for a little inspiration this weekend - as well as an easy and convenient way to get around - Metrolink has launched Open for Christmas, providing people with loads of ideas for fun-packed days, exciting nights out and festive events.   

For a full breakdown of tram services operating over the Christmas period, including tram and bus services, and Travelshop opening times, please visit TfGM’s dedicated travel advice page, and for those looking to avoid the crowds people can also check the quietest times to travel on the network.    

Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Environment, said: "We know how busy the Christmas period can be in Manchester, and I'm grateful that a combined approach has been taken by TfGM, Manchester City Council and our partners to try and make getting in and out of the city as easy as possible. 

We'd encourage as many people to use public transport where possible, but if they have to use their car try and avoid busier periods to prevent long hold ups. 

"I'd also ask people to plan their journeys home in advance, especially in the evenings so that they can get home safely." 

TfGM’s Head of Customer Experience, Sean Dyball, said: “With festivities in full swing and major events taking place across the weekend, we are expecting to see large numbers of people visiting Manchester and making the most of what’s on offer.  

“Please be aware that services will be busier this weekend so consider travelling at quieter times if you can and continue to follow safe travel advice to help keep each other safe, particularly by wearing a face covering on public transport, unless exempt. 

“I’m pleased to say that we have seen a significant increase in the number of passengers wearing face coverings on services across GM, which I am really thankful for. 

To help keep each other safe passengers are asked to follow the current safety measures:   

  • You must wear a face covering on all forms of public transport, unless exempt, including rail, tram, bus and Ring and Ride services, as well as rail and bus stations and Metrolink stops 
  • Where possible open windows to maintain fresh air flow and ventilation 
  • Clean your hands frequently by washing with soap and water or using hand sanitiser 
  • Use contactless payment if you can 
  • Services are likely to be busier - if you can, travel during quieter times 
  • Consider walking or cycling, particularly for short trips 
  • Please be kind and consider fellow passengers when travelling on public transport 

For live travel updates please follow @OfficialTfGM or visit www.tfgm.com  

Contact Information

Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office

0161 244 1055