Connectivity is yet another reason to buy off-plan in Manchester
Manchester City is one of the best-connected cities in the UK. It’s perfectly placed for road transportation, and is easily within reach of the rest of the country by rail, and internationally by air. This article examines the transport infrastructure that makes Manchester city irresistible to investors.
Manchester – a City totally connected today and tomorrow
Though deep in the Northwest region, Manchester city is exceptionally well connected to the rest of the UK and international destinations. A definite and proven advantage for the potential of property investment.
Air: top-class airport access
Manchester is the North’s only major international gateway via Manchester Airport, which was ranked as the UK’s best airport at 2015’s Globe Travel Awards.
It is the largest of all the UK’s regional airports. Currently, it serves 22 million passengers per year – a number that is expected to grow to 50 million by 2030. Unsurprisingly, large-scale investment has been planned to accommodate this growth.
Over 100 airlines fly to more than 200 destinations around the world. There are four flights each day to New York, and other daily flights include those to nine other US cities and the Far East. The airport is easy to reach, and only 20 minutes from Manchester’s city centre.
It also benefits from the UK’s first ground transport interchange, with its train, bus and coach stations. These offer a 24-hour service to and from the airport.
Around 250,000 tonnes of import and export freight are handled each year.
Infrastructure and redevelopment at and around Manchester Airport include:
- Creation of the Manchester Airport City Enterprise Zone
- Retail and catering upgrades in Terminal 2
- A third platform to increase accessibility to the city centre and wider region
- Redevelopment of Terminal 1
Rail: making tracks across the UK
Manchester is directly linked to most UK cities by rail. London is little more than two hours away. Soon to benefit from two High Speed 2 stations – one at Manchester Airport and one at Manchester Piccadilly – the journey time to London will be slashed in half.
Manchester is the heart of the Northern Hub and will be a major beneficiary of faster and more frequent services across the region and to the south. Liverpool will be just 30 minutes’ travel by train, and Leeds only 45 minutes. It is planned that there will be 700 additional trains per day across the region.
The Manchester region is served by a network of rail and Metrolink, fanning out from Manchester Piccadilly and connecting every urban centre to Manchester city centre.
Metrolink is Manchester’s on-street light rail system. It runs 24/7, 364 days of the year. It has been calculated that the tram/rail hybrid has cut at least two million car journeys around the Metrolink corridor. Metrolink travels north to Bury and Oldham, south to Altrincham and Chorlton, and west to Eccles. In total, it serves 50 stops. The Metrolink network is being expanded to Rochdale, East Didsbury, and Manchester Airport.
Buses: extensive and some free
The bus network is fully integrated into the air and rail network in Manchester, with the entire transport network benefitting from a forward-looking transport strategy developed by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
Regular bus services run to all parts of the city, including the airport. Again, the focal point of the transport network is Manchester Piccadilly.
There are also free Metroshuttle bus services for travelling around the city centre. These connect the major train and Metrolink stations, major car parks, shopping centres and leisure areas. Transport in and around the city centre is cheap, easy, fast and frequent. This system is being held up as an example of eco-friendly inner-city transport design and operation.
Manchester coach station has been refurbished in a £35 million facelift. From here, it is possible to take a National Express coach to 1,200 destinations to all points north, east, south and west of the UK.
Road and canal: a completely connected region
Manchester is exceptionally well connected to all the UK’s major cities by road. In fact, the road network in and around Manchester and the region is so good that more than 20 million consumers are less than two hours’ drive from Manchester city centre. Businesses in Manchester have a huge potential customer base virtually on their doorstep.
The M60 Ring Road has eased access since it was completed in 2001. Traffic is less congested, and links between the city centre and Manchester’s suburbs has been greatly improved.
The A57/M1 connects Manchester with Sheffield, Nottingham and London, as well as providing road access to the East of England.
Travelling east to Leeds and beyond, the M62 carries people and freight to the Humber ports.
The M6 links Manchester to the southern cities of Birmingham, Bristol and London, and to Wales. Northbound, the M6 takes traffic to the Lake District, Carlisle and Scotland.
In total, the Manchester region is home to 25% of the UK’s motorways and may be the best-connected city in the country.
A further option for the transport of goods to the deepwater port at Liverpool is to use the Manchester Ship Canal. This route sees up to 10 million tonnes of cargo carried every year, much from Trafford Park, Europe’s biggest industrial estate. The new investment will see a multimodal terminal with motorway, rail and canal links to the rest of the North West. It will reduce transport costs for freight entering the UK, particularly freight from the Far East that otherwise enters the UK via southern ports.
The property fundamentals are aligned for Manchester property investment
As you can see, Manchester city is incredibly well connected to the surrounding region and the rest of the UK. This makes it a place that is in demand from businesses, employees, professionals who commute, and families. Apart from its great transport links, there is also plenty more to recommend Manchester city as the place for off-plan property investment today. It includes:
- Manchester is a mecca for retail therapy. It has some of the best and most famous shopping centres in the UK, and a plethora of boutiques and independent stores.
- For families, Manchester’s educational options are comprehensive. Children from the age of two through to 18 and older are completely catered for, with some of the best educational facilities in the country and a university network that has produced 25 Nobel Prize winners.
- Manchester’s entertainment scene is unrivalled outside of London. Manchester Arena is Europe’s largest indoor concert venue. The city boasts more than a dozen cinemas and tens of museums and art galleries. It is also within easy reach of some of the UK’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty, including the Lake District, Peak District, and Yorkshire Dales. Sports facilities are limitless.
- Manchester boasts the UK’s second largest economic region in the UK after London and produces 3.5% of the entire nation’s GVA. It’s a powerhouse of job creation, with a diverse and rapidly expanding economy which makes it well protected against the economic downturn.
- Manchester is benefitting from its status as being the first UK city to take advantage of the devolution of power and financing from the central government. The Greater Manchester City Deal makes billions available for investment here, supporting urban regeneration and the creation of enterprise zones and thousands of jobs.
With its fantastic transport network and incredible strength across all the property fundamentals that underpin successful property investment, it is little wonder that this city is high on the list of the best places to invest in property UK.
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