MUSIC lovers heading to the Parklife festival at Manchester’s Heaton Park this week are being encouraged to plan their journeys and consider using public transport to get there.

Highways England is warning drivers congestion is likely around the local motorway network at key times over the festival weekend.

Chris Chadwick, Highways England’s Emergency and Events Planning Manager, said: “We are encouraging people to use public transport options like Metrolink rather than drive to the park given the limited on-site parking.

“In the past we have had congestion and safety issues caused by people stopping on the motorway to drop off or pick up concert-goers.

“A dedicated drop-off and pick-up point – at Sainsbury’s – has been running successfully for a couple of years now and means there is absolutely no reason for anyone to stop or walk in the motorway hard shoulder or carriageway.”

This year’s event is taking place this Saturday and Sunday (9 and 10 June), finishing at 11pm each day with 75,000 people expected each night.

The park is bordered by the M60 between junction 17 at Whitefield and junction 19 at Middleton including Simister Island at junction 18 where the M60 meets the M62 and M66.

Anyone using the motorways is being advised to expect congestion – especially when concert goers are leaving the venue each night from around 9pm onwards, potentially into the early hours and particularly on the Sunday morning.

Drivers are also being advised the A576 Middleton Road alongside Heaton Park from junction 19 of the M60 will be closed on the Saturday and Sunday night.

Between 8pm and 2am each night, access will remain to the Heaton Park retail estate just off the motorway and some limited local roads.

Anyone heading into or out of Manchester and Salford should avoid trying to use junction 19 – as there will be no through access between 8pm and 2am on the Saturday or Sunday nights.

Drivers should use junction 17 at Whitefield or junction 21 at Hollinwood instead.

Drivers are being reminded that anyone stopping on the motorway hard shoulder or live lanes to drop off or pick up concert-goers risks an on the spot fine of £30.

Pedestrians walking anywhere along the motorway carriageway also risk being fined £50 as well as putting themselves at risk.

The car park at Sainsbury’s on the retail estate off Middleton Road will again be used as a dedicated drop off and pick up point – and this can be accessed from junction 19 of the M60.

There is limited on-site car parking and no dedicated park-and-ride facilities so the concert organisers are advising music lovers to use special shuttle buses from Manchester city centre or the Metrolink tram service instead of driving.

More information on travel arrangements is available on a dedicated Transport for Greater Manchester web page.

Highways England traffic officers at the North West Regional Control Centre will be closely monitoring motorway traffic using CCTV cameras and patrols will be out and about to help manage traffic and keep drivers on the move.

Electronic variable message signs will be used to advise motorway users of the event in advance as well as over the weekend to warn of incidents and any congestion.

Highways England provides live traffic information via its website, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile apps.

Providing they can do so safely, road users can also call the Highways England information line on 0300 123 5000 to keep up to date with road conditions or follow @highwaysNWEST on Twitter.