So in 2023, TfGM is urging people to ‘travel smart’ and use public transport, walking and cycling to navigate the Manchester Christmas Markets and surrounding events.
Sean Dyball, head of customer experience at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “Whether you’re working, shopping, or celebrating, the Bee Network is right on your doorstep – helping to make public transport and active travel affordable and accessible to everyone in Greater Manchester.
“Public transport can often be cheaper and more convenient than travelling by car or taxi, including avoiding traffic and the hassle and cost of parking – not only helping to reduce your carbon footprint, but allowing time to relax and enjoy some leisure time on the way.
“It’s also the fastest way to get around, with 99 stops on the tram network, connecting people both to the city centre and local shopping hubs.
“And bus travellers can take advantage of low-cost fares such as £2 adult single ticket and combined tram-bus tickets, making an expensive time of year a little easier on the purse strings.
“Cycling, walking or wheeling are also healthy, cost-effective ways of getting around – particularly at the first and last leg of a public transport journey.”
Events coming up in the next few weeks in Manchester include the Black Friday sales over the weekend of 24 to 26 November; the annual Christmas Parade on Sunday 3 December; and hundreds of Christmas parties expected to peak on Friday 15 and Saturday 16 December.
On the 16 December, Manchester City will face Crystal Palace, and there’ll be three shows of Disney on Ice at the AO Arena, which continue into Sunday 17 December.
Around two million football fans will head to Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium in the coming weeks, with Manchester United hosting Bayern Munich on 12 December and Pep Guardiola’s men welcoming title rivals Liverpool on 25 November.
More protests are also expected, which have seen thousands come to the city centre over recent weekends.
This has led to some tram and bus services being disrupted as the network works to enable the demonstrations to take place safely.
There are 24 park and ride locations around Greater Manchester, where you can park for free and complete your journey by tram.
Those who have to drive into the city centre are advised to park closest to their route out of the city centre to ease congestion across town.
The Bee Network journey planner and travel alerts hub will help people to plan their journeys across Manchester this Christmas.
The UK could be at risk of a roast potato shortage this Christmas
Ok, we don’t mean to alarm you but, according to the latest reports, Christmas dinner plates could be at risk of scrimping on a major component as there is a threat of a roast potato shortage this holiday season.
Please, for the love of all things holy and festive, no — we’ll do anything to protect our roasties and gravy.
While there’s often talk of supermarket shortages and supply problems when it comes to the busiest time of year, it seems that the Great British potato-loving people might genuinely have to cut back on the amount of roast spuds we intend to eat over the next few months due to recent storms.
Following what has already gone down as one of the toughest harvests on record, the yield of potato crops has been hit hard by the ‘Autumn washout’, with fields being waterlogged by the likes of Storm Babet, Ciarán, Debi and more, meaning that farmers have been unable to harvest lots of their produce.
Farmer James Lacey explained how there is around £200,000 worth of potatoes that he and his team simply can’t harvest and that they are struggling to hold on to those already pulled out, as even such sturdy vegetables as potatoes just “don’t like this kind of weather and aren’t storing very well”.
This is just the story of one farmer’s plot of land too; unfortunately, current figures project that roughly 20% of this autumn’s potato crop has been flooded and will likely be unsalvageable, with the majority of rotting spuds only fit for animal feed.
Although the figures are still unclear, it is estimated that the latest potato crop is tipped for a record low of 4.1 million tonnes — for context, on average and in their various forms, Brits eat around 250m potatoes at Christmas every year.
Sadly, it doesn’t stop there either as due to the almost unprecedented rainfall over the last few months and back-to-back storms, combined with the increasingly frosty conditions now creeping across the UK, the likes of broccoli, carrots, parsnips and more are all under threat.
As a result, retailers are already being forced to supplement their supplies from cold storage which, obviously, isn’t endless.
With shortages of different vegetables increasing week upon week and as well as the impact it is having in restaurants already, the knock-on effect it may have on supermarkets with people raiding the freezers to get frozen roasties at the ready just in case could be massive.
The recent miserable weather isn’t getting any better either as the North West is one of many regions that has been hit by a cold snap this week, with the Met Office and UKHSA issuing an amber health alert.
Whether you can believe it or not, it’s actually been two whole decades since the 2003 Christmas cult classic that is Elf was released to the world, and with December literally just a few days away now, there’s no better way to celebrate this special anniversary than seeing the film return to the big screen for a limited time only.
From this week, you can head on down to Vue cinemas in both Manchester Printworks and inside Quayside MediaCity, as well as others throughout the region, to watch the beloved festive flick.
Going on to become a much-loved festive favourite that’s watched by families all over the world every time December rolls around, Elf is a Christmas comedy film that tells the story of a human raised by Santa’s elves.
As Buddy grows older, he eventually learns about his origins, and heads to New York City on a mission to meet his biological father.
Directed by on Favreau and written by David Berenbaum Elf has been hailed by many as a modern classic, and it’s often listed as one of the best Christmas films of all time.
It stars legendary comic actor Will Ferrell as the title character Buddy the Elf, alongside a talented ensemble cast of famous faces such as Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart, Jon Favreau, Peter Dinklage, and more in supporting roles.
Ferrell’s performance as Buddy was also praised by critics and audiences alike at the time of the film’s release, and many have even called it one of the best performances of his career.
Speaking ahead of Elf’s return to cinemas this Christmas, Mike Anton, who is the General Manager of Vue Manchester Printworks, said: “Christmas is all about spending quality time with friends and family, and creating treasured moments to last a lifetime.
“So we’re glad to be marking the merry occasion with a lineup of some of the most iconic and beloved Christmas classics.”
Tickets to see Elf at Vue Manchester Printworks and Vue Manchester Quayside are now available to get your hands on from just £4.99 when booked online here.
If you also find yourself at a loose end in Manchester city centre over the next couple of weeks, there’s another a little hidden cinema tucked away inside popular hotel King Street Townhouse that’s screening a jam-packed lineup of classic Christmas films throughout December too – including Love Actually, Home Alone, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
You can also sip on festive cocktails, and snack on popcorn and pick n mix while you watch all the festive flicks too.