Save Preston Bus Station

This is a guest post by Andrew Pye, who is running a Save Preston Bus Station campaign via Facebook. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can get involved.

Preston bus station

Preston Bus Station


Recently I had a story printed in the LEP and I want to know your thoughts on it.

I just want everyone to know that I am not against the regeneration of Preston at all – there is a lot of it that I think should be knocked down, like St. Johns Centre. The Bus Station is too big for what Preston needs, maybe they could continue to use the back half of it, maybe it could be converted into a big John Lewis? I don’t know? I know idiots hang around in there, I know it smells like piss and “shake and vac” mixed together – it is dropping to bits, but I can’t help but love it. Once over it was the symbol of the future, with its white tiles and rubber floors and seats that were too high and small to sit on. Now it is a symbol of the past- our past and they want to take it away. It just doesn’t feel right!

And have you all noticed that all of Preston Buses now have the Stagecoach logo on them?

Sad isn’t it?

Please give me your support via the Facebook group


5 Responses

  1. Hi,
    Sorry, I want to agree with you, but then I look at the bus station and see a big ugly thing, then I go inside, navigating bizarre tunnels or dangerous forecourts, and smell that vague urine smell. It takes up too much space, dragging the whole of this bit of Preston down. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t slightly intimidating. The only argument I can see in its defence is that they will probably replace it with something worse, but even so regenerating this ugly bit of Preston will be well worth it.

    Sorry! Generally I would always back campaigns such as yours but I’ve always thought the building was awful and think demolishing it will be a huge boost to Preston.

  2. nb great website.

  3. Thanks for the comments Simon, glad you like the site.

  4. I support your protest and wish you the best of luck. But you must avoid falling into the trap of a) publiscising the negative aspects of the bus station/car park as it now exists, and b) referring to the Tithebarn scheme as regeneration. Tithebarn is not regeneration: it is merely redevelopment for the primary purpose of wealth generation based on the overuse of credit – and we all now know the horrible pitfalls of credit reliance. As to the bus station, it bus possesses multiple merits that easily outweigh those nasties that seem so readily to spring to people’s minds. It is unique; it is useful; it is a ready made landmark; it is eminently repairable; it is recognised far and wide for its architectural qualities; it is ours. But since it’s creation lies within the recent memory realm it suffers from an uncertain public reaction. And that’s why the developers have chosen it as a site ripe for redevelopment. They wish to monopolise uncertainty, hitch a free ride on the downslope of opinion, ever mindful that opinion is cyclical and one day soon the tide will turn. Just as it did for the ‘gothic monstrosities’ of the Victorian age, which were derided and demolished and are now sorely missed. Think of Preston’s Victorian Town Hall on the site of what is now Crystal House. Think of that wedding day photograph with the silly hairstyle and daft clothes. Fashions come and go. But whereas clothes are disposable, buildings should at least aspire to some real state of permanancy. We owe it to the future to preserve buildings like the bus station. If it goes we will be savagely judged. Parochial; thick; short sighted; consumers. Good luck.

  5. Hi,

    Just to reiterate, I understand all that Dougal says, but then I visit the bus station and: tunnels, urine, ugly, impractical. It’s never been a pleasant place and I don’t see how it can become one, even with some wild redesign. The bus station wasn’t designed for human beings it was designed for cars and busses, so it was fundamentally wrong to start with. In an abstract, architectural way I can see the building’s merits, but in a real-life, human way it’s just wrong. It is in the wrong place and it is too big.

    I’m frequently embarrassed when showing visitors to Preston this building, acclaimed as the second biggest bus station to Europe. People laugh when I say this. I want Preston to be a pleasant place to walk around, I don’t want it to be a joke. There’s no point pretending we’re a place of “brutalist” masterpieces, we should focus on our real strength as an old Victorian market town and work on that.

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