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Preston Bus Station
07-Oct-2011, 01:57 PM
Post: #1
Preston Bus Station
I turned on the televison this morning to see Preston Bus Station on the BBC.

There is a difference of opinion between the leaders of Preston City Council and the World Monuments Fund over this building.




Lancashire Evening Post

The leader of Preston Council has described the city’s bus station as “uncompromisingly monstrous” after it was named as one of the world’s most at-risk monuments.


Peter Rankin said the building, which is due for demolition as part of the city’s £700m Tithebarn regeneration scheme, had “never worked” as a bus station.

His words come as the World Monuments Fund has named the bus station is among 67 heritage sites across the world added to the list of treasured places at risk.

The heritage groups have failed in two bids to get listed status for the building, hailed as an example of the “concrete brutalism” architectural style from the 1970s, to protect it from demolition.

lep.co.uk

I don't know what he means when he says that the bus station 'never worked'. I used it a a lot in the past.




World Monuments Fund

The inclusion of three twentieth-century British buildings on the Watch underscores the risk to modern architecture around the world, especially those in what is commonly referred to as the brutalist style, derived from the French term “betón brut,” meaning “raw concrete.” Characterized by bold geometries, the exposure of structural materials, and functional spatial design, brutalist architecture was also an expression of social progressivism. Such monumental structures date from a time when municipal authorities had the financial resources and the political will to contribute major civic buildings to the public realm.

The Preston Bus Station is a bold concrete structure providing an integrated car parking, bus, and taxi facility. Upon its completion in 1969, it was the world’s largest bus station. It is now slated for demolition as part of a redevelopment scheme.

wmf.org

You can also download a poster here poster

Martin ~
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07-Oct-2011, 04:01 PM
Post: #2
 
It didn't work very well as there was too much backing up of buses. Without a spotter (used to be the conductor) the driver can't see a thing. They don't have back-up cameras like my motorhome does.

When I drove for our local transit agency, backing up was banned, except under very unusual circumstances. I only did it three times - once for my driving test and twice on the routes when the street I was supposed to go down was blocked.

It's also very unfriendly to pedestrians, with all the access being by underground tunnels. When it first opened, society was a lot less dangerous than it is today.

IMO it's a particularly gross example of the ugly architecture of its day and should have been demolished long ago. Preston missed its chance to get an integrated transportation center when the land where Debenham's an the other stores are next to the railway station wasn't pourchsed for a new bus station.

Frank Damp (wife Eileen, nee Nixon)
Leyland resident 1941-1965, emigrated to the US in 1968,
retired to Anacortes, Washington State, USA in 1999.
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07-Oct-2011, 04:18 PM
Post: #3
 
I love the bus station. It only looks a mess as the council has let it degenerate so much over the years so they can say "Look at the mess it is in, needs to come down." A good makeover, that would cost a lot less than demolishing and rebuilding elsewhere a smaller and less practical transport hub, would make this building great again.

As for the backing up of buses - the Chorley bus station as part of the Chorley interchange has the exact same design, on a smaller scale. How can they not see anything? The thing is full of windows and the only other traffic behind you is the size of a bus (being a bus). Paint it, upgrade the interior, and maintain.
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06-Dec-2011, 12:41 PM
Post: #4
 
I remember much criticism of Preston bus station when I was a reporter on the LEP in the 60s/70s, and using it daily in the early years before I had a car, I can testify that it indeed never did work.

The airport-style "departure gates" didn't take account of the British habit of forming queues, which snaked back into the walkway behind them making it impossible for other passengers to get past to reach their gates, while the illuminated information boards giving the services departing from each gate were exactly the same height as the destination boards on the buses, so it was necessary to go to the front of the gate and bend down to see if the bus that was waiting there was the one you wanted

I heard that the architect who designed it had NEVER travelled by bus in his life, and it wouldn't surprise me.

CD
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06-Dec-2011, 03:57 PM
Post: #5
 
Still the same Colin ....and don't ever use
the bus station after evening rush hour ....
a very scarey, unsafe place.

T. D.
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06-Dec-2011, 11:09 PM
Post: #6
 
Preston bus station is fine. It has security and the lay out works just fine. I would rather look at something retro than some eyesore that some freshman dreamt up in their black painted bedroom back in the day whilst listening to The Sisters Of Mercy ! The Tithebarn Project looks like a damp squib now and so like Gonzo says, a good clean up and hey presto somewhere to wait for 5 mins ( You should know the timetable ! ) while your bus arrives !
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07-Dec-2011, 10:13 AM
Post: #7
 
The bus station is an icon of Preston - it must stay!
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07-Dec-2011, 10:47 AM
Post: #8
 
Mostly the people who want it to go are the local councillors. The idea of keeping it and using half for as a bus station and half as shops has been muted after the failure of the Tithebran project. The station is larger than needed, and dirty as said needs a good clean up but all in all I like it.
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07-Dec-2011, 05:11 PM
Post: #9
 
Just wondering how many of the people wanting to
keep the bus station ... use it on a regular basis
in the evening or at night?

A really good security force ... would make it safer
and more usable.

Knowing the schedule doesn't help when there is a reduced
service in the evening ... and it takes less than 5mins to get stabbed or threatened!!

T. D.
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07-Dec-2011, 06:18 PM
Post: #10
 
I use it a few times a year Karen. The only bits I don't like are the underground passages, though I may have watched too many films with violence in situations like that. I always walk quickly through the one between the station and Ringway expecting to get stabbed at some point ( no pun intended). It's not happened yet but I can understand peoples' fears.
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