Getting to the Games
This section helps you plan the best way to travel to Commonwealth Games venues and how to find out more information.
- Plan your journey in advance
- Allow plenty of time for your journey
- Use public transport
- Free shuttle services
- No parking at venues (except Blue Badge holders)
- If you drive, use park & rides
Getting around Manchester
Getting around Greater Manchester is quick and easy with an excellent network of bus, train and Metrolink tram services - plus a dedicated park & ride and FREE shuttle bus service during the Games - to help you on your way.
Manchester city centre is served by five rail stations: Piccadilly, Victoria, Oxford Road, Deansgate and Salford Central.
Metrolink trams provide a link through the centre of Manchester and to Bury in the north, Altrincham in the south and Salford Quays and Eccles in the west.
The main bus terminal is in Piccadilly Gardens with buses leaving every few minutes to hundreds of destinations.
Centreline is a free bus around the city centre.
Manchester Central coach station is located on Chorlton Street. There is dedicated coach parking near Sportcity and in Manchester city centre.
Getting to venues
All of the venues are near to bus, train or tram stops. See venues for our recommended ways to get to each venue from Manchester city centre. Bus and tram stops and train stations are shown on the venue plans.
FREE Sportcity shuttle buses
Frequent FREE Sportcity shuttle bus services will run in both directions between Manchester city centre and Sportcity throughout the Games. Shuttles leave Piccadilly Gardens, stop at Manchester Central coach station on Chorlton Street and at Fairfield Street next to Piccadilly train station, then go to Sportcity. A second service connects Corporation St (for Victoria train station) and Cannon St with Sportcity. Holders of valid event admission tickets travel FREE. The standard fare for non-ticket holders is £1.
Note: non-ticket holders cannot access the Sportcity site.
Sportcity shuttle buses leave at least every 10 minutes and the journey takes 15 minutes in either direction. Please allow extra time during busy periods. This is an accessible service using low-floor buses.
A FREE shuttle bus service will also run between Bolton Arena, Horwich Parkway train station and Rivington on event days.
Park & ride
Throughout the Games, FREE buses will run from spectator park & ride car parks at Heaton Park (use M60 junctions 17 or 19) and Old Trafford football ground (use M60 junctions 7 or 12). Metrolink trams to the city centre are available from Lancashire County Cricket Club (use M60 junction 7). The car parks are signposted from the M60. The park & ride buses will run at least every 10 minutes. These are fully accessible services and include one wheelchair space on each bus. Please allow plenty of time to park your car and for the journey to your venue.
From Heaton Park spectator car park:
Park & ride buses run directly to and from Sportcity. Buses and Metrolink trams also run from Heaton Park to Manchester city centre.
From Old Trafford spectator car park:
Park & ride buses will run to and from Manchester city centre and then Sportcity.
To help prevent traffic congestion and inconvenience for everyone, there is no parking at Commonwealth Games venues (any exceptions are noted on venue plans). Parking around Games venues is also restricted to respect the needs of local residents. Blue Badge parking is available at all venues. GamesMobility parking is also available at Sportcity.
Walking routes between Manchester city centre and Sportcity are clearly signposted. This pleasant walk takes approximately 25 minutes and, at the end of Sportcity sessions, may be the quickest way back to the city centre.
Many Nightbus (late night bus) services will run every night of the week during the Games.
How to find out more
For more detailed and up-to-date information about services, how to get to the venues, tickets and other enquiries about public transport in Greater Manchester:
For national travel information:
- Visit the venues section
- Visit the tickets section
- Visit the GMPTE journey planner
- Call 0161 228 7811. Lines are open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm, and 24 hours during the Games. Minicom users may also use this number
- Visit a GMPTE Travelshop at bus stations in Greater Manchester
- See a GMPTE Information Point in Manchester city centre and atbus stations
- Visit www.firstgroup.co.uk
- Teletext: ITV page 164
See Services for disabled spectators for more details about accessible transport.
- Traveline for general public transport information: 0870 608 2 608 (minicom: 0870 241 2216)
- Virgin Trains: 08457 222 333 (minicom: 08457 44 33 67) www.virgintrains.co.uk
- National Train Enquiries: 08457 48 49 50 or www.nationalrail.co.uk
- National Express Coaches: 08705 80 80 80 (minicom: 0121 455 0086) or www.gobycoach.com
Public transport guide
During the Games there will be improvements and additions to regular public transport services. This may result in changes to some existing travel services. A public transport guide for all services during the Games will be available from mid-June from GMPTE Travelshops (at bus stations), train stations and other information outlets.
Copies can be obtained by calling 0161 242 6040, or writing to:
GMPTE Distribution Centre
Unit 4, Baring Street
Please mark your envelope 'CG Passenger info'.