Driving in and out of Liverpool UK

Feb 11th, 2011, 06:07 PM
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Driving in and out of Liverpool UK


We are ending our trip to the North of England in Liverpool for two nights before we fly out of Manchester on a Sunday morning.

I was warned about Sunday morning train issues but it turns out there really isn't a train from Liverpool to MAN that arrives before 9:50, and that is too late for us.

So right now it looks like we will have to keep our car for the nights we are in Liverpool, and drive to MAN on Sunday morning.

I would like to know about driving in Liverpool. Is it a difficult city to drive around in? Would it be wildly expensive to park our car while we stay for two nights?

Any information or tips are certainly appreciated.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Feb 11th, 2011, 06:23 PM
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I haven't driven in Liverpool since the 70'sso can't help too much w/ that. But -- if you are staying IN Liverpool I can't imagine you'd want a car at all.

If it was me, I'd consider dropping the car when arriving in Liverpool. Then on Saturday night after dinner and any other things you want to do in the city, then take a train to Manchester or to MAN and spend the last night either in the city or at an airport hotel.
janisj is online now  
Feb 11th, 2011, 06:56 PM
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Hi, I live in Liverpool and I'm from Manchester.
Driving in Liverpool is fairly easy, no more difficult than other cities really. In fact, driving around Manchester City centre is much more difficult.
My best advice is to leave the car in Liverpool and catch the train from Lime Street to Manchester. The trains are regular enough.
If you insist on keeping your car then you can park in the NCP car park opposite Lime Street Train station - it will be quite pricey though for a long period.
Or you can park it off one of the side roads; more risky, but free.
PhillB is offline  
Feb 11th, 2011, 08:51 PM
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There are buses, averaging every half hour (though erratically timed) and taking about an hour to MCR airport, that run earlier on Sundays than the train (www.nationalexpress.co.uk)

There isn't an NCP car park opposite Lime St Station. The St John's car park opposite the station is £2 an hour, £13 for 24. Other car parks, almost certainly more convenient for the poster, are listed at www.ncp.co.uk/find-a-car-park.htm or http://liverpool.gov.uk/parking-trav...cil-car-parks/, though neither list is exhaustive and your hotel will have the best information

You MAY NOT park on the street free near most central Liverpool hotels. With some knowledge of the city, you can find free parking north of the main station. But this is hopelessly inconvenient for any hotel.

Some hotels - especially the low-cost basic formula hotels on the central fringe, like Campanile - offer secure, free parking: most conventional city centre hotels offer a slightly discounted rate of about £10-£15 a day in the nearest multistorey car park. Most have nearby on-street metred parking, but this almost always, even at weekends, works out more expensive than the hotel's daily rate if you're parking for six hours or more a day.

No English city is difficult to drive in. Many wimpy Americans disagree with this - which is why "is it easy to drive in x" is never a sensible question, as anyone claiming expertise in giving travel advice really ought to know. Liverpool is just about the easiest English city to drive in, and all city centre hotels are - by the standards of, say hotels in central Florence or Seville - easy to get to the front door of. Whether that meets the poster's definition of "easy", who knows?

Getting an early morning prebooked taxi to MCR is likely to take 45 mins and cost around £40-£50.

There's a British national myth (propagatged by Liverpudlians who think it flatters their macho vanity, and by outsiders gullible enough to swallow this nonsense) that parking cars in central Liverpool is risky. I've been doing it for 40 years without so much as a scratch.
flanneruk is offline  
Feb 12th, 2011, 12:29 AM
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Very small Liverpuddlian: Mind your car, mister?
Motorist: No thanks, I've got an Alsation on the back seat.
Very small Liverpuddlian: Put out fires, can he?
Josser is offline  
Feb 12th, 2011, 04:47 AM
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You could leave Liverpool the evening before your flight by train and check in to an airport hotel?
alihutch is offline  
Feb 12th, 2011, 12:16 PM
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I suppose we could leave Liverpool the night before our flight but we really didn't want to move hotels one more time (we already have 4 stops in two weeks), and we also want to stay with our friends who are traveling to Liverpool to be with us. I had thought the train would be perfect, but alas, no.

I would be happy to dump the car upon arrival in Liverpool, but I then need to figure out how to get to MAN. I'll check the bus times and compare them to taxi rates.

I am only keeping the car in the event that I can't find a reasonable way to MAN on Sunday morning.

I acknowledge that "easy" is relative. We often drive to NYC and park at or near hotels, or using coupons for discount garages. We think that is fairly easy, but NYC is well marked and on a grid.

I would rather be dropped out of a helicopter than drive into and park in Florence, however we have done it several times. I don't consider that easy, unless it is on a Sunday morning in winter. Even then, easy isn't the word I'd choose. Less trying, perhaps.

I'm not looking for anything as challenging as driving and parking in Florence. If you all were to tell me that Liverpool was similar to Florence, I would try much harder to rearrange our plans.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Feb 12th, 2011, 12:25 PM
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There is a bus listed on the National Express site, leaving Liverpool Coach Station at 7:45, arriving MAN 8:35.

That is perfect for us, and we can get rid of the car upon arriving in Liverpool.

Are there any caveats to this plan? Any warning about National Express?

flanneruk, thanks for the tip.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Feb 12th, 2011, 02:27 PM
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"Any warning about National Express?"

You know about the mad axe man in the back seat, I hope.
chartley is offline  
Feb 12th, 2011, 06:03 PM
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chartley, I didn't know but I was planning on sitting up front in any case.

Is that a silly question? If you asked me if there were any warnings to be given about riding Greyhound in the US, I would have to tell you about the axe men in the middle seats, and a lot more.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 01:31 AM
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My Mum used National Express to travel 400 miles from England to Glasgow....you'll be fine.
alihutch is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 01:34 AM
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I have not been to Liverpool for years, and I have never been to Manchester Airport, but I have travelled by National Express.

You buy your ticket online and print it out. The driver will have a list of passengers and will check you off as you board. Baggage goes in a compartment under the floor which is only accessible from outside. The driver may load and unload your bags, or you may have to do that yourself. Only small bags go inside the bus. If of a nervous disposition, you may want to sit on the same side as the door to the luggage compartment so you can see if anyone steals your bags, but I have never heard that this is a regular problem.

Mad axe men do not travel on every journey, and early Sunday morning is probably a less likely time for noisy stag and hen parties who have been drinking high-strength lager or sambuca. The biggest risk is that you have someone sitting next to you who wants to talk, but since you write "we", I presume you already know who will be sitting next to you.

Don't forget that longer-distance limited stop buses are called "coaches" in the U.K.
chartley is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 02:31 AM
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flanner is right about the best way to get to MAN. Drop your hire car the night before and take a cab. It's easy, quick and saves all that lugging and pulling of bags. Make sure that you get a black cab and agree the fare beforehand.

Private hire cars, (called minicabs in London) will be more expensive with drivers who don't necessarily know the way to the end of the road.

flanner is also very lucky with his car parking in Liverpool.
Lifeman is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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chartley, thanks for the useful information. In the US, mad axe men travel Greyhound at all hours, so it's good to know that the coach will likely be axe man free on a Sunday morning.

We could easily do a taxi or driver. I can ask our hotel.

On TA, they discuss private transfer firms going from Liverpool to MAN.

Is a regular cab a better option than a private firm that specializes in transfers?

If our hotel isn't near the coach station/stop, and we have to take a taxi to get there, it may be worth the extra money to get the taxi the entire way. I'm just not sure.

Right now, we are looking at 18£ for both of us, coach fare, and probably 5£ for a taxi to the coach. We won't have much luggage and we always use public transport when we travel.

I understand that a taxi or transfer service runs about 45-50£. Considering my money is worth nothing in the UK, this may not be a great option at twice the cost of taxi and coach combined to get to MAN.

I would love feedback on this. Thanks.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 07:15 AM
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A note from a "wimpy American" -

Liverpool is not set out on a grid as is Manhattan. Maybe not as bad as Florence, but not like Manhattan at all.

There is lots of traffic on small and crooked one way streets. You will be dodging pedestrians and buses and searching for signs/landmarks. It took us over 1/2 hour of driving around and around a very small area to find our hotel, even with directions from the hotel. Directions were along the lines of make a uturn at the glass building, then a quick left at the name of a store [which by the way will be obliterated by a bus], then another u-turn [but you will be in the wrong lane], etc.

I would not recommend driving there if you can help it.
egnolive is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Thanks, egnolive. I have decided NOT to keep the car in Liverpool. We will probably have to endure the pain of dropping it off in Liverpool, but then we will be done with it.

I'm still wondering about bus vs. private transfer vs. regular taxi, but I have time to gather more information on that score.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  

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