Man City vs Man Utd: warning over road diversions & rail disruption as travel advice issued for Etihad

Supporters are being urged to leave extra time to get to the match and to walk if they live close enough to the Etihad Stadium: here’s the latest travel advice on trains, trams, buses and roads in Manchester.
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The two footballing halves of the city will clash this weekend as Manchester City and Manchester United meet in the Manchester derby.

The two arch-rivals meet at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday (2 October) with a 2pm kick off.

Transport bosses have now issued travel advice for the legions of supporters of both the red and blue sides of Manchester who will be heading to the ground for the derby.

Here’s what you need to know about getting to the Etihad on Sunday.

Getting to the ground on the Metrolink

In its official travel advice Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) says a fast service runs directly to Etihad Campus, the dedicated tram stop for the stadium which is located on the Ashton line.

City centre Metrolink stops and services on the Ashton line will be running at least one tram every 12 minutes and will be busier than normal prior to kick-off. Queues are to be expected and journeys may take longer than usual.

A Metrolink tram in Manchester Credit: ShutterstockA Metrolink tram in Manchester Credit: Shutterstock
A Metrolink tram in Manchester Credit: Shutterstock

There is also work taking place on the Metrolink network this weekend, with no services between Eccles and MediaCityUK. Replacement buses will be in use covering the stops affected.

After the game, trams will not serve Holt Town and Velopark until crowds have cleared from the Etihad Campus stop.

Passengers are also encouraged to pay via contactless wherever possible to speed up the ticket buying process and shorten queues at the ticket machines.

Getting to the ground by car

TfGM says that fans who do need to drive to the match should consider using one of the Park and Ride sites where you can leave the car for free and then complete the journey to the stadium on the tram.

Two Park and Ride sites are conveniently located close to M60 Junction 23. These are:

From these stops the journey time to the stadium is less than 25 minutes.

The match is also expected to have an effect on traffic levels around the stadium and the city centre.

Road users travelling along Ashton New Road and Alan Turing Way should add approximately 20 minutes extra time to their journeys from midday until kick-off and then for two hours after the match ends.

Anyone travelling from the west of the city via Hyde Road should expect trips to take 25 minutes longer than normal, while the inner ring road (in particular the Mancunian Way) will see greater volumes of traffic before and after the game, extending journey times by around 10 minutes.

In addition on Sunday morning part of the A6 in Ardwick is closed for a climate change action day run by a local community group. Diversions will be in place and journeys should take five to 10 minutes longer than normal.

Getting to the ground by bus

The 216 is the most frequent service to the ground on matchdays and it runs from the north side of Piccadilly Gardens to the stadium.

The 53, 76, 217, 219, 230 and 231 bus services also serve the Etihad Stadium, most within a short walk of the ground.

Congestion around the Etihad can add up to 20 minutes to bus journey times, which fans should take into account when planning their journeys.

At the end of the game, shuttle buses lined up outside the South Stand will bring fans back into the city centre.

Getting to the ground by train

As the match is taking place the day after a major national rail strike train services will be severely disrupted.

TransPennine Express has said its trains will be starting later and stopping earlier than normal and running to a revised timetable on Sunday.

It will be much the same situation at Northern, which will be running no trains at all on Saturday due to staff taking industrial action.

Reports on social media say there are also problems with intercity services to Manchester from cities like London on Sunday. Train websites are showing the routes for the day as being ‘sold out’, although you can still walk up on the day and purchase a return ticket to get on board a train.

Getting to the ground on foot

TfGM is recommending any fans who live within a 30-minute walk of the Etihad go to the match on foot.

There is a safe, well-lit and signposted walking route from Manchester Piccadilly station to the stadium. Follow the Etihad Campus banners and City Link signs to the ground and you should be there within approximately 25 minutes.

A map of the route is available from the TfGM website here.