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Music and sport fans, make your travel plans

Lee Howarth

Manchester is gearing up for the biggest weekend of the year as a number of major music and sports events take place across the city.

A total of 350,000 people will be attending Taylor Swift concerts, the Parklife festival, Tyson Fury’s boxing match and Soccer Aid over the course of just three days.

The size and locations of the events mean that there’ll be a number of changes to public transport, including bus diversions and local road closures, however additional Metrolink services will run throughout the weekend.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has developed dedicated web pages, offering information and travel advice, and will be implementing a number of measures to help those travelling make their journeys as easy and as stress free as possible.

Taylor Swift kicks off the UK leg of her world tour with two dates at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium, on Friday and Saturday night (5pm-10.30pm).

On Saturday (11am-11pm) and Sunday (12pm-11pm), Parklife returns to Heaton Park bigger and better than ever. Over 80,000 fans are expected on each day to see artists such as The xx, Skepta and world-famous Mancunian Liam Gallagher.

Across the city another world famous Mancunian, Tyson Fury, makes his long awaited return to the boxing ring on Saturday night at Manchester Arena (from 3.45pm). The former heavyweight champion of the world takes on Albanian Sefer Seferi, and is joined on the bill by Crumpsall’s Terry Flanagan.

The weekend is rounded off by the biennial charity football match, Soccer Aid taking place at Old Trafford (kick-off 8pm). The game will see big names from the worlds of football, music, film and TV competing in a match between the England and World XIs headed by Robbie Williams and Usain Bolt.

TfGM’s Events Manager, Ryan Carter, said: “We are expecting significant numbers of people to use public transport, so it’s important that people plan ahead and allow extra time for their journeys.

“Additional trams will run and we have worked closely with event organisers and transport operators to ensure that everyone gets to their destination as quickly as possible.

“In particular, we have coordinated with Parklife organisers to run a dedicated shuttle bus service from Aytoun Street in Manchester city centre to the festival site, and back again after it finishes.

“We’ll be monitoring the transport networks from our 24 hour Control Centre and I’d encourage people to keep an eye on our website and Twitter account for the latest travel information and advice.”

For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit www.tfgm.com, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGM on Twitter.