With a charity football match at Old Trafford, the opening day of the city centre Christmas markets and an ‘ideal homes’ event at Event City near the Trafford Centre, some 170,000 visitors could be heading into Manchester or Trafford on Saturday - with the local motorways such as the M62, M60 and M602 unusually busy.
Phil Stockford, Events Planning Manager for Highways England, said:
Three events on Saturday are combining to kick off the usually very busy Christmas period and our message to drivers is to carefully plan their journeys if they are heading to Manchester or Trafford this weekend - but also get into the habit of planning trips and checking traffic conditions right across the festive period.
We’re doing our bit by monitoring traffic from our regional control centre and using electronic signs to warn of congestion or incidents. We also delay or postpone routine repairs or maintenance around Manchester over the run up to Christmas and into the January sales.
Having said that, work on the important Manchester smart motorway project needs to continue and people heading out of Manchester on Saturday night should note that the M62 around Rochdale will be closing in both directions between junctions 19 and 20 from 9pm so we can demolish a gantry
Drivers are being urged to check travel conditions before setting out on journeys. Highways England provides live traffic information via its website, local and national radio travel bulletins and electronic road signs. Information is also available from Twitter via @highwaysNWEST.
Providing they can do so safely, road users can also call the Highways England customer contact centre 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.