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Music lovers heading to the Parklife festival at Manchester's Heaton Park next month are urged to use public transport rather than drive to the event – while motorway users are being warned of likely congestion around the local motorway network at key times over the festival weekend.
This year’s event is taking place on Saturday and Sunday 6 and 7 June, finishing at 11pm each day.
A separate concert with Manchester band the Courteeners is also taking place at Heaton Park on Friday 5 June.
Some 20,000 people are expected at the Courteeners concert and around 70,000 each night at Parklife.
The park is bordered on one side by the M60 between junction 17 at Whitefield and junction 18 at Simister Island on another by the M60 between Simister Island and junction 19 at Middleton. Anyone using the motorway and the nearby M62 and M66 is being advised to expect delays especially when concert goers are leaving the venue each night from around 9pm onwards, potentially until the early hours – especially on the Sunday morning.
Drivers are also being advised the A576 Middleton Road alongside Heaton Park from Junction 19 of the M60 will be closed on the Saturday and Sunday night - between 8pm and 2am each night - with access only to the Heaton Park retail estate just off the motorway and some limited local access. Anyone heading into or out of Manchester and Salford should avoid trying to use junction 19 – as there will be no through access between 8pm and 2am on the Saturday nights – and use junction 17 at Whitefield or junction 21 at Hollinwood instead.
Drivers are being reminded that anyone stopping on the motorway hard shoulder or live lanes to drop off or pick up concert-goers risks an on-the-spot fine of £30. Pedestrians walking anywhere along the motorway carriageway also risk being fined £50.
For the first time the car park at Sainsbury’s on the retail estate off Middleton Road will be used as a dedicated drop off and pick up point – and this can be accessed from junction 19 of the M60.
However, with limited on-site car parking and no dedicated park-and-ride facilities, the concert organisers are advising music lovers to use special shuttle buses from Manchester city centre or public transport instead of driving. More information on travel arrangements is available on the Parklife website www.parklife.uk.com.
Highways England traffic officers at the North West Regional Control Centre will be closely monitoring motorway traffic using CCTV cameras and patrols will be out and about to help manage traffic and keep drivers on the move.
Electronic variable message signs will be used to advise motorway users of the event in advance as well as over the weekend to warn of incidents and any congestion.
John Hope, Highways England’s Emergency and Events Planning Manager, said:
We aren’t expecting significant congestion issues but with limited on-site parking and no park-and-ride facilities nearby we are urging people to use public transport rather than drive to the park.
In the past we have had congestion and safety issues caused by people stopping on the motorway to drop off or pick up concert-goers. The provision of a dedicated drop-off and pick-up point for the first time means there is absolutely no reason for anyone to stop or walk in the motorway hard shoulder or carriageway.
Anyone driving to Heaton Park should plan their journeys. Highways England provides live traffic information via its website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms, such as the iPhone. 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.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.