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A Guide to Transportation in the City of Manchester

A Guide to Transportation in the City of Manchester

Manchester and its satellite towns and cities have a population of over 552,000 people. As such, it is a large area with many transportation modes.

Knowing where your work is for your daily commute is essential if you live in Manchester or are considering moving there. Also, it’s best to find the ideal living place to consider having a reasonable travel time between home and work.

A 30 to 60-minute drive is generally an acceptable distance to travel to work, especially in bigger cities. However, if your drive to work takes too much time and seriously interferes with your daily life and well-being, your workplace is too far.

To decide what mode of transportation to take, you will need to consider various factors involving personal and professional circumstances. Some details to consider may include having children, your place of employment, and your home location.  

Another to consider is your budget. For example, it is more financially savvy to use the tram network if you commute to work in the city centre since it connects to Victoria Station in Central Manchester.

However, a private car is ideal if you work outside Manchester, such as in Leeds or Liverpool. Otherwise, commuting to these cities would take around over an hour.

Walking or cycling to work is also an excellent option if the distance is reasonable. Similarly, these are great if the weather permits. 

According to a study by the Center for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), people feel better when walking to work. Also, their psychological well-being worsens the longer they spend commuting.

Lead researcher, Adam Martin, has told Business Insider, “People who walk or cycle to work are less likely to get held up in traffic than when travelling by car, so they don’t have the stress of being unsure of when they’ll get to work.” 

Car Access in Manchester

Car Access in Manchester

When considering whether or not car access would be ideal, you would first have to consider the rush hour times in the city of Manchester. 

With the existing high congestion like most cities in the United Kingdom, the rush hour peak times in the mornings are between 7:00 AM and 9:30 AM.

The other windows of rush hour are when people go home from work between 4 PM and 6:30 PM and lunch breaks between 12:30 PM and 2:00 PM. 

Congestion happens at these times, so it may be easier, depending on your location, to travel to work by the Manchester city tram or foot. However, the answer to this depends on the distance between your home and work.

Parking Fees in Manchester

Paying for on-the-street parking in Manchester can cost up to £1.50 every 30 minutes. So that would add up to £3.00 for an hour and £6.00 for two.

For your convenience, when opting for street parking in Manchester, you can pay quickly and securely with pay-by-four on-street parking.

Also, instead of paying on display machines using your mobile phone, you can pay by debit card or credit card. 

And as a reminder, on-street parking and the pay-by display are only operational between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, Mondays to Sundays.

Parking is also available in six car parks in the Manchester City Centre, including Manchester Piccadilly Station Car Park. On the other hand, CitiPark has five car parks in Manchester city centre, all near Piccadilly Train Station.

You can also take advantage of free parking options on certain roads in Manchester. Specifically, these roads are Hoyle Street, Melcombe Way, Barker Street, Deramore Street, Headingley Drive, Radnor Street, Eccleshall Street, and Quilter Grove.

As for recent events, the government passed a clean air bill to reduce air pollution in the Greater Manchester area. 

Consequently, commercial and passenger vehicles will have to pay an additional daily charge to enter the Manchester City Centre, which has come into force on 30 May 2022.

Is having a car necessary in Manchester?

Car transportation may not be necessary for Manchester, depending on your circumstances, because a car is a luxury, not a necessity. 

The UK’s average earning salary for all medium workers is £25,971, and between £31,285 and £38,131 for full-time workers. So it boils down to the cost of living in your area.

Factor into this, the average price of a car in the UK ranges from £12,000 to £28,000. The cost primarily depends on the size, spec, and car make and model. 

You also have car maintenance costs to worry about on top of gas expenses.

Furthermore, the average household spends roughly £1,100 yearly on car purchases and financing, representing 4.3% of their annual family budget.

To put things into perspective, the average cost of living as a family of four is around £2,268 without house rent. And for a single person or student, the estimated monthly cost of living is £651, and still, without rent.

That said, a car is not necessary as a mode of transportation in and around Manchester, especially with the high cost of living in the UK. 

On the flip side, you have the city tram and other public transport routes conveniently available throughout the city, which is more efficient and affordable.

Manchester Tramlines

Manchester Tramlines

The Greater Manchester area is one of the most extensive tram lines in the UK, with over 90 stops and 103 kilometres throughout the Manchester city centre connecting to surrounding Greater Manchester satellite towns.

It’s also a given that the tramlines are punctual, with a new tram cart coming every 12 to 15 minutes to take you to the destination you wish to be, like the airport.

On that note, the opening hours of the Greater Manchester tramlines are from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM on Mondays to Saturdays and 7:00 AM to midnight on Sundays.

An unlimited day ticket is £5.50, and a first-day group unlimited is £10 for five people on the tramline or Metro line, as they call it in Manchester. And the unlimited travel during the night on the tram is £4.50.

For a more long-term approach, purchasing a monthly rail ticket can also entitle you to free travel on Metrolink trams in the city zone. You can buy a ticket from the Metrolink ticket stations available at each station or download a ticket using mobile apps.

But, prices may vary due to tickets needing to be paid for each zone when you buy a monthly ticket.

Car vs. Public Transport 

The best option for transportation within Manchester would still be the city’s public transport networks. You will not need a car to navigate around the city.

However, this aspect changes when talking about getting to the city centre and back home since this highly depends on your location.

But, one can argue that a private vehicle is essential for the convenience of travelling to neighbouring cities. And again, public transport links may take more time, depending on the location.

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