Manchester City fans deterred from new bus service by ‘steep’ prices and ‘confusing’ departure times

Manchester City fans have welcomed new match-day buses but say price and timing tweaks must be made to make the service a long-term success.

The club, in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM), is trialing 17 new bus routes to travel to and from the Etihad Stadium on match days from areas on the outskirts of the city such as Altrincham, Macclesfield, Flixton and Radcliffe.

The bus services, which began on February 17, are aimed at decreasing the city’s carbon footprint by taking more cars off the road.

Tickets in Zone 1 are priced at £6 for a return, while those in Zone 2 are provided at £8. 

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “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.”

However, the new ticket prices have not gone down well with a number of fans.

Manchester City supporter, Zenaida, 26, who took the number 10 bus said: “I’m happy the buses are there but the prices are a bit much for me. Since it’s run by Bee Network shouldn’t it be the regular two pounds, even four pounds would do but eight is a lot. 

“Also, when leaving after the match it was a struggle to make it back in time, especially since I was on the north stand side and the pick up is far away. Barely made it back in time. If they manage to work things out the buses are a great way for me to get a couple pints and not have to drive.”

Another City supporter, known on Youtube as TheMaverick177uk, shared on social media: “I used the Shaw bus and for me going from Royton it’s a God send otherwise I have to use the bus and walk from Oldham road to the stadium whilst getting p*** wet. £8 is a bit steep, I’d say £6 plus concessions for kids would encourage more.

“I do think they need to look at the return journey departure times, they held the Chelsea bus for the extra 10 minutes of extra time on Saturday but last night only around four minutes, even though six minutes of extra time.

“I’m able-bodied but at the top of SSL3 it takes around 20 minutes to get to Briscoe Lane due to crowds, god help you if you aren’t as quick on your feet or become an early leaver. It’s a great idea and with a few tweaks could be a massive success.”

Noel M, 47, said: “I took the 12 bus with my 14-year-old son and had to pay the full price for both of us. It’s cheaper to get a family ticket on the tram. The distance from the stop to the stadium is quite a walk. Works out better for me if I just drive there, free parking is only a slightly longer walk.”

The new bus service will continue to operate at every home match taking place at the Etihad Stadium until the end of the season.

TfGM has been contacted for comment over the fans’ suggestions but has not yet commented.

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