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How to travel around as Eurovision celebrations approach

Local people and visitors joining in with celebrations for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, as well as regular commuters, are being advised to plan their journeys as the city region gears up for the big event.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to travel to the region in May when it hosts the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine.

A packed events programme means the public transport and road network is going to be busier than usual as people make the most of this experience, especially during peak event start and end times.

As excitement builds in the run up to Eurovision, the Combined Authority and transport operators are making sure that public transport services are ready to help keep everyone moving, with some extra services being put in place to help people travel between festival venues and travel home after the events.

The Eurovision Festival starts on Monday 1 May, with the Eurovision Song Contest Turquoise Carpet event and the National Lottery’s Big Eurovision Welcome, providing a major opening ceremony at St Georges Hall on Sunday 7 May. The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest culminates in a series of live shows at the M&S Bank Arena between Monday 8 May and the Grand Final on Saturday 13 May.

Top travel tips

Whether you  are travelling to enjoy the Eurovision events, commuting to work or taking the family out for a day trip, key information and advice is now available to help you plan your journeys.

If you live or are staying local and are able to…

Cycle, walk or use an E-scooter if you can: you’ll avoid very busy bus and rail services and help keep our air clean by doing it. In the city centre,  active travel will often be the quickest way of getting around.

If you’re using public transport…

Plan ahead: We expect services to be busier than usual across the whole fortnight.

Check timetables:  Make sure to do this ahead of and on your day of travel in case there are any changes – in particular check last bus and train times. Merseytravel and operators will use social media to publish changes made at short notice.

Leave plenty of time: Some journeys might take longer than usual or be subject to delay or changes at short notice – so whether attending the event or not please be aware of the plans and changes.

Consider your options: The transport network is expected to be busier than usual. Think about staggering your travel home times and have a plan B in case you can’t get the service you planned for. In particular, don’t wait for the last scheduled train or bus home as these can often be very busy.

If possible buy travel tickets in advance and online: This will speed up your journey and help you avoid queues on the day.

Travel light if you can: Busy services will mean less room for large items of luggage.

Arrive early at the station, stop or ferry terminal in good time: This is to avoid disappointment as there may be queues particularly on the nights of 7 and 13 May to get home.

Consider multi-modal tickets: Tickets that can be used over different modes of transport, such as Saveaways, will give you more options.

Be patient: There will be lots of people travelling for the events.

Please be kind and respectful to transport staff: Remember that they are working really hard to get you to where you need to be. Let’s make this event fun and be proud of our region!

Transport and Travel Information

A summary of transport information can be found below and is available on www.merseytravel.gov.uk

However, for the most detailed and up-to-date guidance, you should regularly check operator websites and social media channels as these services are subject to last minute changes.

In planning for the relevant events, particularly on 7 and 13 May, some additional services have been added to the rail and bus network to ensure people can travel to and home from the event safely.

Walking and Cycling 

If you live nearby or are staying local, walking and cycling will be some of the quickest and easiest ways to get around, especially in Liverpool City Centre.

You’ll avoid very busy bus and rail services and help keep our air clean doing it.

Merseyrail

The Merseyrail network links Liverpool city centre with many areas of the wider region, including Wirral, Knowsley, South Liverpool and Sefton – including Southport.

Merseyrail will be operating a special timetable during the most popular events throughout the week and some stations in the city centre may be closed at certain times to assist with the management of the large number of passengers that are expected.

Additional services and capacity are planned for key dates throughout the festival, particularly focussed on 7 and 13 May.

@merseyrail – www.merseyrail.org

Lime Street Station mainline and City Line services 

Located in the heart of the city, Liverpool Lime Street station is Liverpool’s mainline rail station. All services from London, Manchester, Birmingham and other North West and national locations will terminate here.

Lime Street will be very busy for the duration of the Eurovision festival with queues extremely likely during peak times and additional safety measures will be in place to help prevent overcrowding.

 Check directly with operators for the most up to date information. 

Additional services and capacity are planned for key dates throughout the festival, particularly focussed on 7 and 13 May

@northernassist – www.northernrailway.co.uk   

@TPEassist – www.tpexpress.co.uk  

@avantiwestcoast – www.avantiwestcoast.co.uk  

@LNRailway – www.londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk  

@tfwrail – www.tfwrail.wales  

@eastmidrailway – www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk

@NetworkRailLIV – www.networkrail.co.uk/communities/passengers/our-stations/liverpool-lime-street

@nationalrail – www.nationalrail.co.uk

Bus

Buses are one of the best ways to get around Liverpool and the wider city region and some services will be strengthened during the event.

Additional services and capacity are planned for key dates throughout the festival, particularly focussed on 7 and 13 May.

The Arriva 500 service which runs  between Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Liverpool South Parkway rail station will be stepped up between 8 and 15 May, running every 15 mins between approx 04:00 and 01:00.

A free shuttle bus will be running between the Eurovision Fan Zones at the Pier head and Camp and Furnace between 5 and 13 May, between approx 21:00 and midnight.

National Express and other coach service arrive into and depart from Liverpool ONE bus station.

There will be diversions to some routes due to road closures and services may be subject to delays – especially in and around Liverpool City Centre. 

Sunday 7 May The event at George’s Hall will result in the closure of Lime Street. This means that some bus services will end at London Road and not Queen Square Bus Station.

A free shuttle service will run between London Road, Queen Square and Liverpool 1 bus stations.

A park and ride will be set up at Stanley Park with buses operating to Queen Square Bus Station between midday and midnight.

Arriva North West – www.arrivabus.co.uk

Stagecoach – www.stagecoachbus.com

National Express – www.nationalexpress.com

Mega Bus Uk – www.Megabus.com

Mersey Ferries

The iconic Mersey Ferries offer a great option for cross-river travel – with regular commuter services each weekday morning and evening, alongside River Explorer Cruises during the day.

A number of special services will also be operating in the build-up to and during Eurovision week – including on and around the final itself.

You can find out more details on the Mersey Ferries website.

Mersey Ferries – www.merseyferries.co.uk/

Mersey Tunnels

The Wallasey (Kingsway) Tunnel and Birkenhead (Queensway) tunnel will be open as normal but check Merseytravel social media channels for most up-to-date information.

www.merseytunnels.co.uk

E-scooters

E-scooters and E-bikes operated by Voi are available for hire throughout Liverpool city centre and surrounding suburbs, with parking zones at key transport hubs like bus and rail stations. Vehicles can be located and unlocked by downloading the Voi app.

Voi – www.voi.com

Airports

Liverpool is connected to the world via John Lennon International Airport, which is less than 20 mins from the city centre.

Several regular bus services to Liverpool city centre operate from outside the terminal building, including the regular 500 service operated by Arriva.

Manchester Airport is less than 1 hour from Liverpool City Centre and is served by its own rail station, with services operating from here to Manchester Piccadilly and some Liverpool stations, including the main Liverpool Lime Street.

Up-to-date information about flights and how to travel to the city from either airport can be found on their websites.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport – www.liverpoolairport.com/transport

Manchester Airport – www.manchesterairport.co.uk/getting-to-and-from/

Richard McGuckin, the Combined Authority’s Executive Director for Place, said: 

“We can’t wait to welcome the world to our city region in just a few weeks’ time for the Eurovision festival.

“Our region knows how to put on a good show and we’re working with our partners to keep people moving throughout the event, including putting on some additional services and capacity across the network on key dates.

“Whether you’re planning to enjoy Eurovision or travelling around for other reasons we’re asking you to think ahead and plan your journeys to help people travel safely.

“We thank people in advance for their kindness, patience and respect for each other and our transport staff who will be working hard to get everybody where they need to go.”

READ MORE: Eurovision grand final performances announced by the BBC

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