Transport in Manchester

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Manchester is a National city of commerce containing a rich and varied infrastructure of transport. With nearly 3 million inhabitants, the area heavily relies on public transport to keep it moving at all hours of the day. Here you can catch a bus, taxi, train or tram or you can opt to go green and walk or cycle to your office. Wherever it is you need to go in this city, you’ll be sure to find a mode of transport to get you there quickly and easily.

Manchester by Air

Manchester airport is the third busiest airport in the UK and the largest outside of London. With over 22 million passengers every year passing through it, Manchester serves over 100 different airlines which offer direct flights to 225 destinations worldwide. The airport is also ahead of many similar to its size because of its plans to become completely carbon neutral by the end of this year.

Getting to the airport is incredibly easy, in part because the airport is in such a prime location based two hours or less away from a third of the UK population. From Manchester city centre the airport is a mere 25 minutes by car, and there are plenty of long and short stay parking facilities available when you get there. If you want to get to the airport by coach you can catch a National Express bus to the airport which travels from lots of major UK cities, or if you prefer the bus there are a total of 9 bus services running from Manchester city centre to Manchester Airport including the number; 200, 18, 19. 43, 105, 369, 199, 200 and 44. There is also a direct tram to Manchester airport which runs every 12 minutes from the city centre. You could also take a train directly to Manchester Airport Train Station or if you’re feeling eco-friendly, cycle to the airport (takes about an hour) and lock your bike at one of three bicycle parking stations.

Key UK Destinations and Times (direct flights)

Manchester to Aberdeen – 1 hour 15 minutes

Manchester to belfast – 55 minutes

Manchester to Dublin – 1 hour 5 minutes

Manchester to Edinburgh – 1 hour 5 minutes

Manchester to Exeter – 1 hour

Manchester to Glasgow – 1 hour 10 minutes

Manchester to London – 1 hour minutes

Manchester to Norwich – 1 hour minutes

Manchester by Bus

Manchester has a comprehensive bus network enabling visitors and inhabitants to travel cheaply and easily around the city. If you’re looking to travel to Manchester from a major city, National Express and Megabus both operate cheap coach services. For getting around the city on a day to day basis, you’ll want to use the free Metroshuttle. It’s an incredibly useful service that links all of the cities major car parks, attractions, business areas and shopping areas together, plus it runs every 6-7 minutes from 7 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm Sundays. The city also has evening and night buses that run after the Metroshuttle stops operating, many which run until 3.30 am in the morning.

Manchester by Tram

Manchester tram network is extremely well developed and comprehensive compared to other cities. The Metrolink is a service which combines train, bus and tram services together so you can buy tickets to hop between transport throughout the day. The tram runs between various locations in and around the city centre including services between – East Didsbury and Rochdale, Eccles and Piccadilly, Bury and Altrincham and Bury and Droylsden.

Manchester by Car

Within Manchester there is an extensive road system enabling driver’s easy access to all of the UK’s major motorways and cities. The location of the city and it’s great road infrastructure mean that a huge proportion of the UK population (over 20 million people) are easily within less than two hours’ drive away from Manchester city centre. The key roads in Manchester are; the M62 East (linking Manchester and Leeds together), The A1 and M1, The M62 West providing access to Liverpool (in under an hour!), the M6 Northbound (taking you towards Scotland), the M6 Southbound taking you towards Birmingham, Wales, London and Bristol, the A57 taking you to the East of England and the M60 ring road which provides direct access to Manchester city centre. Parking is readily available in Manchester – for guidance on finding the best parking spots click here.

Manchester by Bicycle

If you like to be eco-friendly and cycle, Manchester is more than equipped enough to accommodate your transport preferences. The city supports commuters who cycle and offers an extensive wealth of information about travelling this way on their main Metrolink website.

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