Co-op Live promotes sustainable travel


Tram travel included in Co-op Live opening Image: Co-op Live

Co-op Live and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have launched a ground-breaking initiative which will see travel on Metrolink and new city centre shuttle buses included in arena event tickets.

The 23,500-capacity Co-op Live is the United Kingdom’s first purpose-built music arena and is currently under construction in Manchester, England (UK). Due to open in April 2024, it is planned to have the largest maximum capacity of any indoor arena in the U.K., greater than the existing 21,000-capacity AO Arena Manchester.

As part of Co-op Live’s commitment to sustainable travel and funded by the venue, fans will be able to use Metrolink from four hours before and up to four hours after (depending on the timing of each show) with a valid arena event ticket.

The initiative will be active across all four Metrolink zones, allowing people to travel at a time most convenient to them.

It will run from 20 April to 30 June 2024, during the brand-new venue’s opening season.

The introduction of trams every six minutes, all-day from Monday to Saturday, and later trams on a Friday and Saturday, promises increased capacity between the city centre and the Etihad Campus tram stop. By offering all-zone travel on Metrolink, fans travelling to the arena will be able to make the most of one of Greater Manchester’s many Park and Ride sites.

The next step in Co-op Live’s considered approach to travel to and from the venue, this initiative fully complements the development of the ‘CityLink’ walking route – a ‘significant’ upgrade to the existing link between Holt Town tram stop and the Etihad Campus.

A joint project between Co-op Live, Manchester City Football Club (MCFC), TfGM and Manchester City Council (MCC), it has been designed to create a vibrant pre-event experience with proposed features including interactive lighting installations and busking spots for performances by local musical talent.

Co-op Live and TfGM will also be introducing a city centre shuttle bus service. The number of shuttle buses available will vary by event profile, with a maximum of ten buses per show. Buses will depart from Joe Mercer Way at the Etihad Campus and arrive at Piccadilly Gardens.

Including tram and shuttle bus travel with all event tickets will help to ensure fans can make a quick and easy getaway at the end of the night, whether they’re heading back home or into the city centre to enjoy further attractions. To claim travel across the network, all fans must be in possession of a valid event ticket, which they will need to show on request.

Fans will be able to access relevant event travel information on the dedicated page on TfGM’s website.

Commenting on the offer, Gary Roden, Executive Director and General Manager, Co-op Live, said: “We are dedicated to ensuring easy and accessible transport links to and from Co-op Live and are delighted to be working with Transport for Greater Manchester to offer this inclusive service for our fans for opening season.

“Coupled with the planning application submitted for a new ‘CityLink’ walking route from the city centre to the Etihad Campus, we are further demonstrating our commitment to the environment by encouraging more sustainable transport choices, and providing additional neighbour-friendly options to support increased footfall across East Manchester.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, added: “Co-op Live is an exciting addition to Manchester’s already buzzing music and entertainment scene and this travel offer will mean people off to enjoy a night out watching the biggest acts in music, comedy and entertainment can do so knowing they will be able to get there and back without any hassle.

“As we build the Bee Network we want to make it easier for people to make all kinds of journeys and this pioneering partnership between TfGM and Co-op Live is showing that in action.

“This is a big step to ensuring everyone can enjoy the city’s unrivalled nightlife knowing safe, reliable and sustainable travel is all part of the package and I can’t wait to get down there myself when the new arena opens in April.”

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