Manchester has an excellent network of local bus, rail and tram services, all operating at very reasonable costs. For more information visit Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM) and/or our Travel to Work options.
Several bus companies operate services within Manchester and the surrounding areas. There are enquiry offices at most terminals where you can ask for timetables and the cost of journeys. You can also make enquiries to the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (www.gmpte.com). The main local bus company is Stagecoach Manchester (tel +44 (0)161 273 3377, (www.stagecoachbus.com/manchester) but this tends to be the most expensive. Local companies include Finglands, R Bullock and Magic Bus, which operate on different costs and offer student discounts and passes.
The Oxford Road Link 147 bus offers free bus travel for University staff between the Sackville Street and Oxford Road areas of the campus. You just need to show your staff card to qualify for free travel. The buses run every 10 minutes throughout the day, Monday to Friday between 7.15am and 6.15pm.
National and local train services are available in the City Centre from Piccadilly, Victoria and Oxford Road railway stations. Do check at which station your journey will begin or end. A 24-hour Passenger Information Service is available by telephoning 08457 484950 or on the internet at www.nationalrail.co.uk, which offers advice on travel and timetables. Most stations have an enquiry office which also sells tickets and you can book a ticket over the internet at www.thetrainline.com. Always ask about "Apex" fares which are substantially cheaper but must be booked at least one or two weeks in advance. Dates and times of trains must be specified when booking — any change in travel plans means payment of the standard fare. On short journeys within the Greater Manchester area — you can buy tickets from the ticket inspector on the train. It is worth checking which routes you can do this on at the enquiries desk at your station.
The "Family Railcard" offers discounts on rail travel to families. Applications should be made to any principal British Rail station or a Travel Agent which sells train tickets. More information is available from the web at www.railcard.co.uk
Although travel by taxi in Manchester is not as costly as it is in London, it is still an expensive method of travel. Before you decide to make a journey by taxi (or cab), you should ask the driver for the likely cost of your journey and ensure that you have enough money with you. You can hail (stop) a "Black Cab" in the street, but a "Private Hire Cab" must be pre-booked in advance. The fare in a Private Hire Cab is often cheaper. Taxis will only take cash payment, and unless you have checked in advance, you should assume they do not accept credit or debit cards.
The network consists of six lines which radiate from Manchester city centre and terminate at Altrincham, Bury, Didsbury, Droylsden, Eccles and Rochdale. A tram also runs between Picadilly Bus Station and Piccadilly Railway Station, and the service is very frequent. You should buy tickets from a machine on the Metrolink platform. Travelling without a ticket carries a heavy fine and sometimes prosecution. Full details from:
Travel costs for children
Up to two children under five years old, who are travelling with a fare-paying adult, can travel free on buses and Metrolinks trams in Greater Manchester and on all trains in the UK. If your children are aged between 5 and 15 years they pay a concessionary fare on all buses, trains and Metrolink trams in Greater Manchester. If a child looks 16 or over it may be appropriate to carry proof of age when purchasing tickets to ensure they get the discount they are entitled to. The Greater Manchester bus companies require that children aged 11 to 16 carry an IGO pass in order to get their concessionary fare. Further details on these and other passes are available from bus and rail stations and online:
Driving in the UK
The UK has very strict laws about driving. You should check that you meet all the legal requirements before driving any vehicle. You should also familiarise yourself with the correct procedures that are likely to be different from your home country. Please note that it is illegal not to wear a seatbelt in a vehicle where one is available. You must have a licence that allows you to drive in the UK. Whether you have this or not will depend on where your licence was issued. This will also determine how long you are permitted to drive in the UK for. More information can be found on page 10 of the International Staff Orientation Guide.
The driver of a car and all of the passengers must wear seat belts. There are strict laws against drinking alcohol and driving.
Traffic in the United Kingdom travels on the left hand side of the road. Remember this if you are driving and also when you are crossing the road. You should always check the traffic flow from the right. Further information about road safety can be found in the booklet "The Highway Code" which you can buy at any bookshop. Have a look at the following website for further advice on keeping safe on the roads:
University Travel Schemes
The University operates a number of schemes to help its staff save on travel costs and be more environmentally friendly:
Season Ticket Loans
The University offers an interest-free loan for staff wishing to buy annual public transport tickets.
The University is signed up to Cyclescheme. With this scheme you may be able to purchase a bike tax-free: