Press release

Commuters advised to plan journeys ahead of Somme 100 event

Drivers commuting into Manchester city centre are advised to plan their journeys on Friday (1 July).

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Drivers using motorways to commute into Manchester city centre are being advised to plan their journeys carefully on Friday (1 July) or consider getting the train or tram to the office.

Manchester is hosting the national Somme 100 commemoration on Friday and the city centre is likely to be affected by extra traffic as well as temporary road closures throughout the day including during morning and afternoon peak travel times.

Although motorway journeys are unlikely to be affected, people using routes such as the M602 and M60 into and out of the city centre onto or from local roads are being advised to consider starting a little earlier, leaving extra time for their usual commute or taking the tram or train to work instead.

Highways England, which operates the motorway network around Manchester, is working closely with Transport for Greater Manchester to ensure commuters are aware of the extra busy Friday and to help them plan journeys.

Dedicated advice for commuters and other people heading into Manchester on Friday is available on the Transport for Great Manchester website.

Highways England is already using its network electronic variable message signs across the local motorway network to advise people of Friday’s event which includes a parade and service in the city centre during the day and a concert at Heaton Park in the evening. A Remembrance Walk will also be taking place from the city centre to Heaton Park via Bury Old Road on Friday tea-time. While this is unlikely to affect motorway users, drivers leaving or seeking to join the M60 at junction 17 for Whitefield and Prestwich may find some extra congestion along the local road network.

Chris Chadwick, Highways England’s events planning manager, said:

We work very closely with partners like the police and Transport for Greater Manchester to ensure people travelling to events into Manchester, and other drivers affected by events traffic, can get around as smoothly as possible. It’s unusual to have an event of this size and importance in the city centre on a week day and we are advising commuters to plan their journeys into and out of Manchester city centre next Friday very carefully – that might mean a simple check for congestion before leaving the house, delaying their journeys or even opting for a different mode of transport on the day.

Highways England traffic officers at the North West regional control centre at Newton-le-Willows, will monitor traffic, set electronic signs and dispatch patrols of traffic officers to clear up any incidents as quickly as possible to keep event-goers and other motorway users on the move.

Highways England provides live traffic information via its website, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile apps. Local Twitter services are also available at @highwaysNWEST .

Providing they can do so safely, road users can also call the Highways England information line on 0300 123 5000 to keep up to date with road conditions.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 27 June 2016