Moving to Manc - what is commuting like?(31 Posts)
Hi. First time poster here. We're probably moving to Manchester before Xmas and are looking at areas. I've seen lots of threads on here about where to live so we have lots of ideas. Maybe on the tram line around Altrincham, Timperley, Didsbury if we can afford the latter. Or on the train line and further out such as Marple, New Mills, Stockport way. Or maybe north Manchester but we've never been up there! I'd love some opinions on what it is like to commute into central Manchester. I've heard the trains are slow and so over crowded. Is it really this bad?! Also what are the trams like? Partner's job will be right near Piccadilly station. Mine is tbc but I hope to be in central Manchester. We're not sure where to start so hope looking at best commuting options will help. As background we've got a 14 month old and will have less than £300k to buy a house with. Thanks all.
Commuting time, both local trains and trams are standing room only (unless you're lucky enough to live at the far end of the line). Some tram routes are frustrating as they run along road with cars (eg Ashton), so can get held up in traffic.
Tram prices are going up shortly. Where I work I can get a subsidised train ticket but not tram ticket, which is really annoying as trains have been replaced by trams on my route.
The Altrincham line is generally pretty good. All peak time travel is a bit shit wherever you are. Good schools in Trafford. You won’t go far wrong.
Thanks for the heads up. We're moving from London so used to standing room only. Was hoping to escape the rat run of commuting but not until I win the lottery!
I've been commuting by tram for about 6 months from Altrincham. It's been pretty good, trams are frequent during peak. It's about 25 mins into the city centre.
Agree with the others above, transport is busy but fairly reliable. One good thing with most of the trains a bit further out is that a lot have free parking at the train station.
Depends where you would be on the Altrincham line of the tram. If you're nearer to the city centre e.g. Stretford/Old Trafford it can be nigh on impossible to get on a tram after about 7.30 am as they're always so full. Not just standing room only but actually can't physically get on as people are pressed up to the glass like sardines! (Although I've not done it for a while, may have improved I guess?!?).
Nifferrea - I too moved up from London a few years ago. The Metrolink is still a breath of fresh air to me!
I was in SW London and now in Trafford. Nice house, good schools, bit of greenery. Very, very happy with the move.
In Trafford you'll get a lovely 3 bed semi within walking distance of the metro link. Check out the schools that is key in areas, as many of them are outstanding, there are some lovely villages in the middle of these suburbs with some real vibe!
Avoid Marple it's one road in or out and full of lots of weird crime at the mo my mum is one the SK6 facebook. New Mills, great for snow and walking, long commute. Love both Marple & New Mills to visit though.
Altrincham is really getting to be the place to be, lots of businesses moving in and things to do.
I live in urmston and find the tram from stretford fine even in rush hour. Its like the tube, just step on and breathe in!
I generally drive in to centre £6 to park. Tajes me 20mins to drive or longer in heavy traffic/ roadworks (varies)
10 mins walk to work from there. About 40 mins from my office to home listening to radio and pick up dc from school & nursery takes an hour door to door.
Marple and didsbury etc all lovely. Romiley also nice or bramhall etc all about 20 min train into Piccadilly and very regular. But very busy during commute times
For me, a big consideration was how the DCs would get about when they are older - so I live near a tram. They’ve started going into town so i’m glad I did.
Wilmslow and Bramhall were all too well groomed for me. I’m not swishy enough.
I live in Old Trafford, and always get on - I live a 2 min walk from the tram stop that services 5 lines.
Direct tram to Piccadilly & airport, as well as Didsbury, as well as walking distance to Chorlton. About 10 mins to City Centre with great schools and facilities, but not crazy house prices like Didsbury etc.
Ah perhaps the trams have improved recently then, I've definitely had awful experiences where I couldn't even get on. Admittedly I hate it when it's crowded so maybe I'm more reluctant than some others.
I moved to Altrincham from SW London and have just moved again to Timperley. I like it up here but the public transport is very poor compared to London.
I always got a tram seat at Alty but now have to stand into town from Timperley, only 2 stops up. The train from Altrincham is a comparable price to the tram but much less convenient.
Traffic is hideous so IMO don't consider driving into town. Cycling is fine if you take the tow path but be prepared to fight with ignorant car drivers on the roads.
Buses in Manchester are a joke. Incredibly expensive and return tickets can only be used with the bus company from which you originally bought it, restricting the routes you can take.
Sorry if that's all a bit negative! I love living in Trafford but TfGM need to radically address public transport and cycling infrastructure!
Match days are a bit of a pain in the arse on public transport. I’ve been on a bus once since I’ve lived here (hate buses) but love the tram. I don’t generally travel at peak times though! But I still prefer to the Tube.
You will struggle with that budget in Altrincham / Timperley - 2 bed probably, 3 bed likely to be out of reach.
Have commuted for a while from Navigation Road - live towards Hale but (free) parking usually available on the residential roads around Navigation Road (the next stop up from Altrincham). 10 trips per week (into town and back), probably got a seat 2 or 3 times a week (about 8am). Agree with pp who said that at peak times - sort of any time from 8am from Altrincham until about 8.40am, you will struggle to actually get on a tram after Brooklands. I lived in London for a few years and its often worse than the tube. Having said that, if you can avoid peak, trams are every 6 mins (at least) and very reliable. Run until just past midnight back from town too so great at night / the weekend.
You don't have to be on the Altrincham line though, the tram is quite extensive now and you'll get more for your money in other areas of the city. The schools in South Manchester (Trafford) are a big draw (some of the best in the country, particularly the state grammar schools) which is what pushes prices up. It is massively family friendly and Altrincham in particular is going through a bit of revolution at the moment with the market area - so many fab bars and restaurants to choose from.
We used to live in north Manchester and the train was often just as crowded and coming home in the evening (the train started at Piccadilly) and was so crowded it didn't even open the doors when it stopped at Deansgate. Again, you'll get much more for your money in North Manchester and feels a little more spaced out / rural.
If you're looking north Mcr I'd recommend a tram line. The trains are awful. Either cancelled or an actual fight to even get on. Drive to a tram stop early!
I also suggest Trafford for schools, get near a tram line. They are making a new one to the Trafford Centre too. I suggest Altrincham, Sale, Urmston, Firswood.
Urmston hasn't got tram but the Trafford Centre tram line will have park and ride and it should open in the next couple of years I think. It does have a train every half an hour that takes you to the city centre in 6-15 minutes on the dot for about £3. You can also find a 3 bedroom house with garden for that budget and have amazing parks and nurseries.
I'm north of Manchester but we have trains straight into Victoria from our village. It's a beautiful area, right on the border with the peak district.
Bus person here and another ex-Londoner. I think you need to forget about Altrincham, tbh, on your budget, bit more choice in Timperley though and much more choice in Trafford/Stretford. It's not unheard of to find the odd three bed semi in Whalley Range and Chorlton, though they're usually not on great roads. Have you thought about Sale?
I agree with comments above that the public transport here should be a lot better for what we have to pay (£2.40 for a single bus ride to travel a mile and £2.80 to travel on the tram the two mile distance from Trafford Bar to town). There's also more anti-social behaviour on the public transport than there is in London and on match days the traffic and crowds are horrendous.
For that money I would look at Sale or Heaton Chapel, Stockport is 10 mins from Piccadilly on the train and if you look at Heaton Chapel then house prices aren't as daft as Heaton Moor but you will still be in walking distance for the restaurants and bars
You want Monton. They say it’s the Didsbury of Salford. Then you can get the tram in from Eccles which is quick. Monton is green, surrounded by canals, woods etc. Anywhere on walk from Monton to Eccles would be nice to buy in.
Urmston or Flixton is the place to be. Loads of bars and restaurants have opened up in the last couple of years in Urmston town centre. Quite a lot of the BBC staff who moved up from London ended up in Urmston if they couldn't afford Chorlton or Didsbury, which are only 10 or 15 minutes away anyway. I would say that Urmston has taken on a Chorlton vibe but it is less studenty and more family orientated. Also, rates of burglary are which lower in Urmston/Flixton compared to Chorlton. Swanky Hale Village is 15 minutes away and it's 15 minutes to the rolling countryside of Lymm (Cheshire) and beyond.
Schools are fantastic such as Flixton Girls and Urmston Grammar, both being oversubscribed in 2017. Trafford is definitely the best borough in Greater Manchester for state schools.
The commute into Manchester is a doddle. It's 12 minutes on the Train from Flixton or 10 minutes from Urmston. It's a 2 minutes drive to the Trafford Centre and the M60. You can be at Media City in 15 minutes and Manchester City Centre in less than 20 minutes outside of rush hour. Flixton has a hospital (Trafford General) with a walk in centre, which we have made use of a number of times with DD!! There is also a sports centre in Flixton and one in Davyhulme which is next to Urmston & Flixton. Flixton and Davyhulme also have golf courses.
It's a very green area with loads of tree-lined roads and parks. Flixton / Urmston / Davyhulme is close to Trafford Park and I'm told that they planted loads of tree's in Flixton/Urmston 50 odd years ago when Trafford Park was very industrial and there was pollution. Nowadays there is no pollution from Trafford Park as there's no heavy industry and it's mainly just Warehousing now. However, the legacy of this tree planting is loads of nice mature tree's in Urmston and Flixton and lovely tree-lined roads. Prices are not too bad either for your budget:
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