Bury man would "think twice" before returning to new concert venue after gig

Maurice Fine and his son Jacob at the Elbow gig at the Co-op live <i>(Image: Maurice Fine)</i>
Maurice Fine and his son Jacob at the Elbow gig at the Co-op live (Image: Maurice Fine)

A Bury man says he would “think twice” before returning to the Co-op Live after being left stranded after watching Elbow.

Maurice Fine, 62, said he was stuck in Manchester City Centre following the gig at the new arena next to the Etihad after the last tram back to Bury left without him and several fellow-concert goers.

The Bee Network says it has increased the number of trams going from the Etihad to provide extra capacity for home matches and for events at the Co-op Live.

Maurice, a sales manager, attended the gig with his son Jacob last week.

READ MORE: Radcliffe care home residents share memories on Bury pub double date

He said he waited around half an hour for a tram going from the Etihad to Manchester, which he said he expected following previous events he had attended there.

However, when he finally arrived at Victoria Station, a connecting stop, he was told by staff the last train back to Bury was “long gone.”

He said that the Bee Network should have anticipated the amount of time it would take for passengers to arrive at Victoria, following the gig.

He said: “The gig finished at about 11pm, they put on a few extra trams but there is a massive queue, and it tends to take around 30-40 minutes [to get on a tram].

“We waited and got on a tram to Altringham and the tram took me to Piccadilly Gardens where they said to change for trams to Bury, there were none but there was one to Victoria.”

Maurice says that when he arrived at Victoria, he was told by staff that the last tram back to Bury had already left. He and other gig-goers were forced to share a taxi back home.

“We were basically left stranded at midnight,” he said.

“They must have known we were coming as there was a line of staff waiting for us.”

Maurice said the experience, as well as the quality of services at the Co-op Live itself, would ‘make him think twice’ about visiting again.

He added that he was disappointed with the quality and price of the food and drink on offer, saying he paid almost £12 for a burger after being unable to find a suitable vegetarian option.

He added that he would advice concert-goers to “have something to eat before you go.”

In response, Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Interim Chief Network Officer, said that Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has been working with the Co-op Live to provide extra trams and shuttle buses to meet demand for events.

He added: “Since the start of the year the number of trams serving the Etihad has increased significantly to provide extra capacity for Manchester City home matches and events at the Co-Op Live. This includes a new six-minute service to and from the Etihad Metrolink stop, as well as more double trams.

“We continue to try to work closely with the Co-Op Live to plan and review every event, including the Metrolink services on offer. This weekend we successfully transported tens of thousands of Manchester City supporters and Barry Manilow fans to and from the Etihad Stadium and Co-Op Live respectively.

“We have also been providing shuttle bus services, which can be used to help move fans more quickly so they can make onward connections. We will keep the transport offering under review and make sure get people to and from events as safely and smoothly as possible.

READ MORE: Celebrate Father’s Day in style this year with East Lancs Railway

“Ahead of any major event across Greater Manchester, we consistently encourage the public to check our website and social media channels for advice before they travel, with customers also able to check first and last tram times and plan their journeys online and on the Bee Network app.”

Commenting on Maurice’s experience with refreshments at the event, a Co-op Live spokesperson said: “We have a wide range of choice on offer to suit various diets including vegan, halal, kosher and vegetarian.

"Our food offering is part of our sustainable policy and we aim for the majority of our food to be sourced locally. We also highlight the ingredients within our products to make it really easy for those with allergens.

"Co-op Live is dedicated to offering our fans value for money. Our prices reflect the quality of the produce we serve our fans, and in line with the wider live entertainment sector.

"We are always happy to hear from our fans about any additional offerings they would like to see at Co-op Live."