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Waxi ahoy! Manchester water taxis finally set sail from Castlefield to Trafford Centre


When taxis hit the headlines, it’s usually bad news. Uber disputes, rides from hell and drivers taking the semi-conscious for an expensive spin. It’s enough to put you off the things for life if only you weren’t too lazy to walk.

To add insult to injury, sea levels are rising, as that nice Mr Di Caprio pointed out in his recent Nat Geo documentary. So it’s probably a good thing if your taxi can swim.

Which, luckily, is where Waxis come in. They’ve got nothing to do with unwanted hair removal. A Waxi is a Manchester water taxi, a brand new service which launched on the city’s waterways today.

If there’s one thing Manchester isn’t short of it’s water. But Steve Cadwell didn’t set up Waxi thinking that Manchester would be the next Venice. He’s simply making use of the city’s vast and largely picturesque canal network. For £35 a week, you can board two of his big yellow waxis, if you happen to commute via the route.


The Waxis are nicely finished with leather seats inside and luckily they have a roof – pretty much essential 12 months of the year for us Mancunians.

Starting at Dukes 92 in Castlefield, you can meander along to the Trafford Centre via Hotel Football and the Theatre of Dreams in around 50 minutes – not bad if you’ve ever been stuck on a bus in Manchester city centre.

But let’s not kid ourselves. It’s not going to be a new way to work for most people. You can’t help but see this is as a tourist attraction, a nice way to take in some Manchester sites before you shop yourself silly at the Trafford Centre.

But, a possible link from MoSI to the Imperial War Museum North could bring some culture to what could otherwise be perceived to be a gimmicky venture. This isn’t a negative for Waxis. It’s a novel idea and, with a single journey costing £7, good fun for your buck.

And they are endorsed by prospective mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham who reckons they have huge potential as a sustainable local transport solution.

So, if you’re a tourist or a punter looking for alternative transport to the footie, shopping or even work, download the app and book yourself a Waxi.

Download the app!


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

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