Passengers urged to plan ahead this weekend amid concerts and football games

With January behind us, Greater Manchester is set to see a major uplift in the number of sports and entertainment events taking place in the region.

A double dose of FA Cup action and concerts at the AO Arena mean that those travelling into the city centre this weekend are encouraged to plan-ahead to avoid delay to their journey.

So, whether you’re off to work, attending one of the gigs, football matches, or simply doing a spot of shopping please check all available travel options before setting off.

The first major event takes place on Friday [4 February], when Manchester United host Middlesbrough at Old Trafford in the FA Cup fourth round (8pm kick-off). Nine-thousand Middlesbrough fans will be making the trip, principally by car and coach, adding to congestion on the roads around the ground.

On the same night, James Blunt performs at the AO Arena (7.30pm start) reminding fans they’re beautiful.

Due to the two events taking place at the same time, plus people heading out for Friday night in the city centre, traffic is expected to increase to the south and west sides of the regional centre from 4pm.

In addition, major roadworks are also taking place on Trafford Road which are leading to increased journey times. Dedicated travel advice, with tips on how to avoid these delays, can be found on the TfGM website.

On Saturday [5 February], Manchester City clash with Championship-leaders Fulham at the Etihad (kick-off 3pm). Usual pre-match traffic is expected around the ground, and on Great Ancoats Street, but other events taking place in the city centre on Saturday mean that fans travelling to the game should allow a little extra time for their journey.

Then, on Sunday [6 February], Simply Red make their long-awaited return to Manchester with a homecoming show at the AO Arena (7.30pm).

Engineering works taking place at Victoria Station on Sunday will impact rail and Metrolink services across the day. Rail services will arrive and depart from alternative stations [Oxford Road and Piccadilly], and replacement bus services will operate on some routes. A replacement bus service will also be in operation on Metrolink to bring passengers on the Rochdale and Bury lines into the city.

Passengers from the south of Manchester can still board and alight at St Peter's Square and Exchange Square and walk down to the Arena. Get those steps in and warm up before a night of dancing to your favourite songs.

Face coverings are no longer compulsory on public transport, but in line with government advice they are still suggested and are welcomed on public transport and at stops, stations and interchanges in Greater Manchester.

TfGM’s Head of Customer Experience, Sean Dyball, said: “For a quicker and more enjoyable journey into the city, please consider leaving the car at home and taking the tram, bus or train. Or consider using the car for a part of your journey and then switching to public transport at one of TfGM’s Park and Ride sites - where you can park for free and complete your journey on the tram into the city centre.

“If you're travelling by tram, people are encouraged to use contactless payments for a fast and efficient way to pay. Just remember to touch-in and touch-out with the same device on the smart readers at the start and end of each journey, and Metrolink will work out the best fare for you.

“We are constantly updating the customer information available on our website and across our social media channels to help people make informed journey choices; to save them time and avoid disruption to their journey.”

For live travel updates please follow @OfficialTfGM or visit

Contact Information

Transport for Greater Manchester Press Office

0161 244 1055