Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has confirmed a series of replacement and alternative travel options for football fans this weekend.
It’s the highly-anticipated Manchester Derby this weekend, with both the red and blue side of the city set to make their way to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday 6 March for a 4:30pm kick-off, but unfortunately, significant disruption is expected on Metrolink services that football fans need to be aware of and plan around accordingly.
Due to what is branded as “essential engineering” taking place at Deansgate-Castlefield, TfGM has said that no trams will run between Chorlton, Stretford and Manchester city centre on Saturday and Sunday (March 5 and 6).
Services to Manchester Airport, Ashton, Eccles, and Rochdale will also be amended, with some set to terminate early.
As a result of these planned works, TfGM has confirmed that bus replacement services will instead be operating every 10 minutes on Saturday and 12 minutes on Sunday on the following routes:
Chorlton – Victoria
Stretford – Piccadilly via Cornbrook
Wharfside – Piccadilly via Cornbrook
East Didsbury Park and Ride – Etihad Stadium (Sunday only)
After the game, trams will not serve Holt Town and Velopark until crowds have cleared from the Etihad Campus stop.
Alongside the tram replacement buses, a bespoke shuttle bus service is also being laid on between the East Didsbury tram stop and the Etihad Stadium, especially for match-goers, with the double-decker buses set to depart from East Didsbury every 10 minutes from 2:50pm and 3:10pm, returning every 10 minutes from 6:30pm to 7pm from the bus stop on Ashton New Road outside the stadium after the game.
These shuttle buses will not stop anywhere en route, however.
For those who are planning on making their own way to the match via car, TfGM has also advised fans based off previous weekend matches at the Etihad, that Alan Turing Way, Pottery Lane, Ashton Old Road, and Mancunian Way all had an additional 12 minutes journey time 90 minutes prior to kick off.
Giving football fans more of an insight into the travel circumstances and what to expect ahead of Derby day, Danny Vaughan – TfGM’s Head of Metrolink – said: “Our contractor is replacing a critical set of points at Deansgate Castlefield over the weekend to improve the reliability of the network [but] unfortunately, it requires some disruption on Saturday and Sunday as trams from the south of the network will have to stop short of Deansgate Castlefield.
“A strengthened tram service will be in place for the Manchester Derby, with trams running between Bury and Ashton [and] there will be a six-minute double tram service from Piccadilly to Etihad.
“A bus replacement service will be in place throughout the works, with services running from Stretford and Wharfside stops to Piccadilly, and from Chorlton to Victoria, and an additional bespoke shuttle service from the Park and Ride at East Didsbury to the Etihad Stadium will be in place before and after the match on Sunday.”
He also added that he’d encourage people to check the TfGM website for the latest travel information “before travelling” over the weekend.
Despite these Metrolink engineering works being in the pipeline for a few months now, some fans have still been angered by the disruption it will cause to what is always one of the most important days in the city’s football calendar, with many taking to Twitter to share their viewpoints.
One Twitter user wrote: “We’re all aware that essential work needs to be carried out on the system, but which shortsighted clown decided to do it on a Derby weekend?”
“How can you possibly justify engineering works on the Metrolink this weekend when it’s the Derby and tens of thousands need ti move around Manchester? Appalling mismanagement,” another Twitter user questioned TfGM.
You can find more information on travelling to the Manchester Derby this weekend via the TfGM website here.
Police search for Moors murder victim Keith Bennett resumes as ‘skull is found’
Police are back searching for Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett after a skull was reportedly found.
12-year-old Keith was snatched by notorious serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in 1964.
The pair’s victims were five children, Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans, all aged between 10 and 17 years old at the time of their murder.
The victims were buried on Saddleworth Moor, but Keith’s remains have never been found.
Now a major breakthrough may have come from an author, Russell Edwards, who alerted police to ‘potential human remains in a remote location’.
Specialist GMP officers have now begun initial exploration activity but say it is ‘far too early’ to confirm if human remains have been discovered.
Officers have also updated Keith’s brother Alan Bennett, who was just eight years old when his sibling vanished and who has dedicated much of his life to solving the mystery of the missing body.
MP Force Review Officer Martin Bottomley said: “At around 11.25am on Thursday 29 September 2022, Greater Manchester Police was contacted by the representative of an author who has been researching the murder of Keith Bennett, a victim of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.
“Following direct contact with the author, we were informed that he had discovered what he believes are potential human remains in a remote location on the Moors and he agreed to meet with officers yesterday afternoon to elaborate on his find and direct us to a site of interest.
“The site was assessed late last night and, this morning, specialist officers have begun initial exploration activity. We are in the very early stages of assessing the information which has been brought to our attention but have made the decision to act on it in line with a normal response to a report of this kind.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been discovered and this is expected to take some time.
“We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family. As such, we have informed his brother of the potential development – he does not wish to be contacted at this time and asks that his privacy is respected.”
A further GMP statement published by the Manchester Evening Newsadded: “We have always said that GMP would act on any significant information which may lead to the recovery of Keith and reunite him with his family.
“Officers met with Mr Edwards yesterday evening (29th September) and he was able to locate a site of interest and provide us with further details of the work he has been carrying out.
“We are at the very early stages of assessing the evidence which he brought to our attention, but have taken the decision to excavate an area of land with a view to determining what lies there.
“It is far too early to be certain whether human remains have been uncovered, but out of respect for Alan Bennett, who we regularly maintain contact with, we have informed him of this potential development.
“Alan does not wish to be disturbed at this time and we would ask that his request for privacy is respected.”
Featured image: GMP
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.