MANCHESTER AIRPORT

Serving over 22 million passengers a year, Manchester Airport is the largest UK airport outside London.  Three terminals, two 3km runways, full facilities, quality airlines and tour operators and 226 direct destinations all go to making Manchester a perfect gateway for the traveller to the UK.

General airport enquiries & customer service: 08712 711 710

T1 Information: 0161 489 4331

T2 Information: 0161 489 4250

T3 Information: 0161 489 1131

Car park information: 0161 489 3723

Flight arrival and departure information: Available on a constantly updated 6 hour window at the airport's website, via SMS (text FLIGHT followed by the flight number to 60030, max cost per flight £1.00, UK mobiles only), or via phoning 090 10 10 1000 (calls cost 50p from BT landline).

The airport has its own rail station, located between Terminals 1 & 2.  It is connected to the national rail network, via a dedicated spur line and provides direct transportation to Scotland, Liverpool, the North East & Yorkshire, as well as to most of the North West. Manchester Airport has a national coach and local bus terminus, this being attached to the rail station.

Taxi ranks are available for arriving passengers at each of the three terminals. For those staying at any of the airport hotels, a free shuttle service is provided (Radisson SAS excepted). It is intended that a Metrolink extension will eventually connect the city centre to the airport, this is projected to be complete for 2016. 

Each terminal has its own dedicated long & short stay car parks, providing over 20,000 spaces across the airport. Car hire is available in each terminal, companies including Europcar, Budget, Sixt and Hertz. Terminal 1's car hire desks are located on level 13 of the short stay car park, whilst Terminals 2 & 3 have them located on the ground floor of their respective short stay car parks.

If you are intending on leaving your car at the airport, it is advised to pre-book via the website. Car park charges are extremely high if you 'pay on the day'.  Car park information: 0161 489 3723.

Hotels on the airport site range from five star to budget, for hotel reservations: 0161 489 2063 or 0161 499 0284.

ARRIVING BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Manchester city centre has excellent rail links with the rest of the country, with two major hubs at Piccadilly and Victoria Stations, as well as smaller stations at Oxford Road, Salford Central, Salford Crescent and Deansgate. Trains from the North East & South of England, Scotland, the Midlands, South Wales and South Yorkshire arrive at Piccadilly, whilst Victoria is predominantly used by trains from the rest of the North West. A full timetable and online booking service is available at National Rail, Trainline or National Express.

Both rail stations are served by the excellent, free Metroshuttle bus service - full details of which can be found at Metroshuttle . This service links Piccadilly and Victoria, but also provides a free ride to many other parts of the city.

The coach station in Manchester is located on Chorlton Street, a short walk from Piccadilly train station. The station is served by National Express and Megabus, providing a cheap (if slightly lengthy) connection to most towns and cities across the UK. 

Local buses arrive into the city centre at Piccadilly Gardens or Shudehill. These stations provide comprehensive links to the suburbs and surrounding areas. Metrolink is Manchester's tram network, serving the districts of Bury, Altrincham, Eccles, Media City (BBC) and all points inbetween. For further information and journey planning, visit the TFGM website.The Metrolink has being expanded out to Ashton-under-Lyne and the Airport. If you are traveling on using Metro link then use the tram it will save you money. However the journey is much faster by rail into the city centre. 

ARRIVING BY ROAD

Manchester is connected to the UK motorway network via the orbital M60 motorway. This orbital connects with the M56, M602, M61, M62, M66 and M67, as well as with many major A roads. The M6 which is the main north-south motorway running along the western part of England cuts through the western parts of Greater Manchester and the city is linked to it via the M56 (and the A556), M61 and M62 motorways. 

Manchester roads are generally free-flowing, with the exception of the morning and evening rush hours, when journey times can be increased three-fold. Times for the rush hours in Manchester are synonymous with the rest of the UK, usually weekdays 7:00-9:30 and 16:00-18:30. A lesser peak in traffic can be experienced in the lunch break, around 12:30-14:00, but is nothing to worry about! During recent years many changes have been made to some of the major roads leading into the city centre in order to improve access for public transport and to make them a bit more bicycle friendly. In most cases this has been done by creating bus and cycle lanes. While this has improved the conditions for users of public transport and cyclists it has also effectively reduced the capacity of these roads for regular car traffic which in turn have had a negative impact on the congestion during rush hours.

Currently, there is no congestion charge zone to enter Manchester's city centre and this is unlikely to change in the near future - plans to implement charging were defeated by vote.

There is a fairly comprehensive one-way system in the city centre so if you are unfamiliar with the city, up-to-date satnav will be a godsend.