Manchester has two mainline stations – Victoria
and Piccadilly, which provide direct links to most major cities
in Great Britain. London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh are all
directly accessible from Manchester. Piccadilly Station runs an hourly
service to London with a range of different pricing options depending
on travel times.
Manchester being is located in the very centre
of the United Kingdom and has one of the best road networks in Britain.
The city has a virtual girdle of motorways made up of the M56, M61,
M63, M66 and M62 (much of which has now been newly designated as the
M60). These five motorways make getting in and out of Manchester a
fairly rapid process. Liverpool and Leeds take only about 1 hour to
drive from the city centre and access to a motorway link is only 10
minutes from the centre itself by the M602 which runs straight in
via Regent Road in Salford and up to the Knott Mill end of Deansgate
in Manchester city centre.
London is 185 miles distance from Manchester and can be reached at
average speed in around 3-4 hours depending on traffic and time of
day. As a general rule, the M6 motorway around Birmingham is best
avoided at rush-hours, as delays can be considerable.
Manchester Air Links
Airport is arguably the fastest growing airport in Europe with
around 15 million passengers travelling through it during 1997.
With the present expansions and the building of terminal two plus
further negotiations to build a second runway, the North West is fast
becoming the second most important industrial centre in Britain after
London. British Airways currently have daily flights to all European
capitals and major cities throughout the globe. Lufthansa have also
chosen Manchester as opposed to the London airports as their hub from
for the British Isles. Virgin Atlantic have introduced a daily flight
to Orlando, and direct Virgin flights to New York and Washington are
Manchester’s Advantageous Location
Geographically, Manchester lies at the centre of
the UK and is ideally placed for access by road, rail and air. Sixty
percent of the UK population is within two hours’ drive of the city
and London is only 35 minutes away by air. Ranked number 17 in the
world for international passengers, Manchester Airport provides access
to over 56 international destinations. Its plan to build a second
runway will lift capacity to 30 million passengers a year and lift
it into the top ten world airports. Current throughput at the airport
is over 14 million passengers a year. Extensive investment into the
airport’s rail link means air travellers are only 15 minutes away
from the City Centre, or can travel direct from the airport’s new
�28 million rail terminal to a number of destinations to the north
and east of Manchester. The rail link carried over one million passengers
in its first year and the soon to be constructed southern spur will
increase its list of destinations.
The two mainline railway stations in the city provides direct services
to the UK’s major cities. London, for example, can be reached in two
and a half hours. And the opening of the Channel Tunnel means rail
passengers can reach Paris in 5 hours 40 minutes and Brussels in six
and a half hours – a direct Manchester to Paris service is planned
for July 1997.
With a quarter of the nation’s motorway system, the region has one
of the best road networks in the UK. The M66, M61, M56, and M62 west
connect Manchester to other parts of the region, including Liverpool,
Chester, Warrington and Preston. The M62 east links Manchester to
Leeds, the Humber ports, the M1 and A1. The M6 runs south to Birmingham
and London, north to Scotland. The final link of Manchester’s orbital
motorway is due for completion in 1998.
And to ease congestion on its other roads, Manchester has shown UK
cities the way ahead for comfortable communicating by opening the
first phase of Metrolink, the UK’s first on-street light rapid transport
system. The system links Bury in the north with Altrincham in the
South via Piccadilly Station.
The Trafford Park Euroterminal, opened in the summer of 1993 at the
cost of �11 million, offers fast direct road-rail services via the
Channel Tunnel to the business markets of continental Europe. One
of nine serving the UK, the Euroterminal, situated in the World Freight
Centre, was funded jointly by Railfreight Distribution and Trafford
Park Development Corporation and has the capacity to handle 100,000
containers a year on its 20-acre site.
Rail Times from Manchester
London: 2 hrs 40 mins
Leeds: 1 hr
Hull: 2 hrs
Bristol: 2 hrs 50 mins
Glasgow: 3 hrs
Birmingham: 1 hr 30 mins
The above are average train journey times.
Drive Times from Manchester
London: 3 hrs 30 mins
Leeds: 1 hr 40 mins
Hull: 1 hr 45 mins
Bristol: 4 hrs 30 mins
Glasgow: 4 hrs 30 mins
Birmingham: 1 hr 30 mins
Newcastle: 2 hrs 40 mins
Rail freight transit time examples from Manchester
Bordeaux – 26 hours
Stuttgart – 26 hours
Milan – 33 hours.
Ship Canal, which celebrated its centenary in 1994, is one of
the country’s busiest ports along its 35-mile stretch, with more than
40 cargo berths. It handles over 2,000 vessels and is served directly
by the motorway and rail networks. The port serves trans-shipment
trade with North America and the Far East, and has direct shipping
links with Scandinavia, the Baltic states, the CIS, Spain, Portugal
and other deep sea regions.