A huge new bus network initiative is set to be trialled over the coming weeks as Transport for Greater Manchester is hoping to help Man City fans get to the Etihad Stadium.
With the Etihad Campus located along the busy Ashton-Eccles Metrolink line, tram services to and from Man City’s home ground can get extremely busy and other forms of public transport in and out of the city are regularly populated by other everyday commuters and so on.
That being said, as part of Greater Manchester’s ever-expanding Bee Network, TfGM is now set to introduce as many as 17 new dedicated bus routes around the region from this month onwards, with bus services and park-and-ride facilities stretching across the boroughs and leading to the Etihad.
The newly proposed network covers 60 stops and will cover a combined total of more than 340 miles, with the first of the new bus services set to launch on Saturday, 17 February ahead of City‘s home match against Chelsea.
As per a statement by TfGM, the new bus routes to the Etihad are said to have been carefully selected following a detailed analysis of fan data which identified areas with limited existing travel options, or those with a dense population of Season Ticket Members.
Tickets in Zone 1 will be priced at £6 for a return and those in Zone 2 will cost £8. These zones have been decided in line with the existing Metrolink zoning system and must be purchased on the day when boarding the bus.
Not unlike existing coaches organised by football supporters groups around Greater Manchester and beyond, one bus will operate per route and there will be space for an average of 80 fans per bus, dishing out seats on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The new additions are also not expected to disrupt existing routes. You can see more detailed information about the stops HERE but TfGM has also published a helpful map outlining the new network:
Stretching as far as Macclesfield, New Mills, Haughton Green, Radcliffe, Flixton, Hale and many towns across the 10 boroughs, the 17 new City buses should help countless more Blues make their way to the game without having to use their own cars, source parking or add to congestion on established routes.
By connecting fans across the region through a direct and reliable mode of travel, the newly proposed bus network will create a low-priced option for fans, making travelling to matches more efficient and increasingly sustainable.
Commenting on the introduction of the bus network, Managing Director of Manchester City Operations, Danny Wilson, said: “We want all our fans to have an amazing experience when they come to the Etihad Stadium, and we know that travelling to and from a match can play a key part in achieving this.
“The introduction of this trial follows a detailed analysis of fan travel arrangements which has helped us to identify areas with limited travel options, and develop a bespoke, large-scale operation tailored to our fans.” Fingers crossed the trial goes successfully and the scheme is fully greenlit.
Mayor Andy Burham added: “This is an exciting trial that will give Manchester City FC fans another option for getting to and from matches at the Etihad in an affordable, convenient, safe and sustainable way.
“This month we have already introduced a new six-minute Metrolink service between the city centre and Etihad Campus – and this new partnership between TfGM and Manchester City Football Club demonstrates a wider vision for helping people travel to one of the city’s most iconic sporting venues.”
Bolton Wanderers boss Ian Evatt slams Wigan Athletic player for post-match celebrations
Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt has criticised Wigan Athletic following their 1-0 loss away at the DW Stadium on Tuesday night, with a player from the home team’s celebrations sparking a bit of a coming together on the pitch.
Understandably rumbling not only the away support but the players on the pitch, it wasn’t long before individuals began confronting each other, including both Evatt and Latics boss Shaun Maloney, with multiple club staff and match officials needed to separate people and calm things down.
Addressing the furious finish to the game, Evatt said, “We just won’t accept one of their players celebrating in front of our fans” and was also quick to remind the home side that there is quite a gulf between the two sides in the table.
"You certainly shouldn't be celebrating when you're mid-table"
Ian Evatt criticised some of celebrations, after Wigan Athletic beat his Bolton side 1-0 at the DW Stadium.
“It’s not acceptable — go and celebrate with your own fans, no problem with that, don’t celebrate in front of ours”, Evatt continued, adding: “You certainly shouldn’t be celebrating when you’re mid-table, that’s what I think”.
Bolton sit joint second in League One on 66 points with an extra game in hand on Derby County above them; meanwhile, the Tics are currently in 13th place having played one more game than their fierce rivals, though they have taken all six points from their two meetings this season.
The 42-year-old head coach went on to admit that he was frustrated with the result and felt “apologetic to the fans” as he felt they and the squad deserved more from the game, insisting that Wigan “probably know they’ve got away with one” and the celebrations merely proved the Trotters were “a big scalp”.
Elsewhere, opposite number Maloney said the result should serve as wind in the sails for his players, telling BBC Radio Manchester: “Tonight was just a real deep desire to not concede, a really strong mentality. It’s definitely a question I’ve put to us as a team and as a group.
“I know we’re really young, we’ve got a lot of academy boys there that have not played a full season before, but I want that mentality and tonight they showed it”, he added — citing Godo in particular as one of the top performers on the night.
Nevertheless, as Evatt hastened to add both in defiance and to quell and simmering derby day hangover amongst Bolton fans, there are still “12 big games” left in the season and it’s his team that is fighting for promotion back to the Championship after more than half a decade out of the second tier.
You can watch the highlights from the fiery clash between Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanders here:
Five-star Haaland: Man City’s striker reminds everyone he’s an utter goal machine
Erling Haaland is well and truly back to business as usual after his five-goal contribution in Manchester City’s 6-2 thrashing over Luton Town.
Fittingly bagging five goals in the fifth round of the FA Cup as the holders cruised into the quarter-finals, Haaland barely wasted any time getting back on the scoresheet as he opened the scoring inside three minutes of the away fixture.
It only took him another quarter of an hour to get his second and while it looked for a brief moment like Luton might have some glimmer of hope after an absolute corker from Jordan Clark, who managed to grab two on the night, the goalscoring phenom managed a first-half hattrick on the 40-minute mark.
Clark’s second came in the 52nd minute to bring the scoreline to 3-2, once again making it look like they might have something to cling on to, only for the Norwegian number nine to resume the annihilation by grabbing his next just a few minutes later and his fifth only moments after that.
While the 23-year-old had looked somewhat off his best over the last few weeks, he did manage to find the net once again in Man City‘s last home game against Brentford and despite striking out against Bournemouth, it looks like the floodgates are once again open.
Fans can argue till the cows come home about the level of opposition and quality of defending on the night, but the reality is that many a team have struggled in the cauldron that is Kenilworth Road and anything can happen in knockout tournaments like this — after all, that’s the ‘magic of the cup’.
Oh yeah, and he broke another record in the process before being taken off — the same thing happened the last time he scored five too. Preventing injuries/preserving players’ energy aside, Guardiola seemingly doesn’t fancy letting him score six for some, even though we all know he would.
Erling Haaland is the first player to score 5+ goals in a single Champions League game and 5+ goals in a single FA Cup game.
He literally could’ve had six but Pep clearly thought five was plenty and subbed him off in the 77th minute, but it goes without saying that the legend in the making regaining his form right before the Manchester derby this weekend only spells disaster for Man United.
The Red Devils looked lacklustre in their previous game at home in the 2-1 defeat to Fulham and they haven’t won at the Etihad Stadium in their last three visits, while the Blues are now unbeaten in their last 18. Sunday is going to be a blockbuster.
You can watch the highlights from Manchester City’s emphatic FA Cup victory over Luton and yet another star showing from Erling Haaland down below: