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The distinctive curve of the car park balconies

The building's engineers, Ove Arup and Partners, designed the distinctive curve of the car park balconies "after acceptable finishes to a vertical wall proved too expensive, contributing to the organic, sculptural nature of the building. The edges are functional, too, in that they protect car bumpers from crashing against a vertical wall. The cover balustrade protects passengers from the weather by allowing buses to penetrate beneath the lower parking floor."[4][5]

Threatened demolition

The building was threatened with demol

The building's engineers, Ove Arup and Partners, designed the distinctive curve of the car park balconies "after acceptable finishes to a vertical wall proved too expensive, contributing to the organic, sculptural nature of the building. The edges are functional, too, in that they protect car bumpers from crashing against a vertical wall. The cover balustrade protects passengers from the weather by allowing buses to penetrate beneath the lower parking floor."[4][5]

Threatened demolition

The building was threatened with demolition as part of the City Council's Tithebarn redevelopment project. After the Tithebarn development collapsed, there were still proposals to demolish the bus station and replace it with a small interchange near the railway station.

In 2000, opposition to demolition led to a failed application for listed building status by The building was threatened with demolition as part of the City Council's Tithebarn redevelopment project. After the Tithebarn development collapsed, there were still proposals to demolish the bus station and replace it with a small interchange near the railway station.

In 2000, opposition to demolition led to a failed application for listed building status by English Heritage. Preston Borough Council (as it was then known) opposed the application.

Putting forward the case for a smal

In 2000, opposition to demolition led to a failed application for listed building status by English Heritage. Preston Borough Council (as it was then known) opposed the application.

Putting forward the case for a smaller terminus, a report, commissioned by the council and Grosvenor in 2000, stated that "buses arriving and leaving the bus station have very low bus occupancy rates indicating that passengers alight and board elsewhere in the town centre. The bus station car park similarly suffers from the poor pedestrian linkages."[6] Listing was subsequently rejected.[7]

A survey conducted by the Lancashire Evening Post in May 2010 found that Preston Bus Station was Preston people's favourite building.[8]

A further application to list the bus station was rejected in 2010 [9] and a review of the decision was turned down in 2011.[10] It featured on the 2012 World Monument Fund's list of sites at risk.[11][12]

In 2012, John Wilson of Fulwood in Preston and a member of the "Save Preston Bus Station" campaign presented a petition of 1435 signatures to Preston City Council calling for a referendum on the future of the bus station and argued that 80% of Preston people surveyed supported keeping the bus station and investing in it. Councillors voted to reject a referendum, with only 1 councillor, Terry Cartwright of Deepdale ward voting in favour.[13]

On 7 December 2012, Preston City Council announced that the bus station would be demolished.[14] They said that it would cost £23m to refurbish it and more than £5m just to keep it standing; although they also conceded that demolition would cost an estimated £1.8m. The Twentieth Century Society, which opposed the scheme, stated that a fraction of this amount would maintain the building while proposals to retain it were being worked up.[3]

In 2013, listed building status was applied for again by The Twentieth Century Society and this time it was granted Grade II listed building status.[15][16]

In October 2014, the Lancashire County Council announced plans for a £23m renovation of the bus station, including "Youth zone" facilities for young people[17], along with a new public square on the western side of the building to improve public access to and from Fishergate, St John's Shopping Centre and the Preston Guild Hall.[18]

The council announced an international competition for the design of the new bus station, to be run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and the selection criteria would include a public vote.[18] Over 90 entries were received and short-listed to five finalists, with more than 4,200 members of the public voting for their favourite design. In August 2015, New York-based (with offices in London) architecture company John Puttick Associates' entry was chosen as the winning design.[19] Preston-based architecture group Cassidy + Ashton, who finished a close second (just four points behind the winner), were named as a partner on the project.[20]

Refurbishment work commenced in 2016. In 2017 bus stands 1–40 on the western side were closed, and stands 41–80 on the eastern side were renumbered 1–40.[21] The station was officially re-opened in 2018, although works were incomplete.[1] In March 2019, the second and final stage of the project saw the construction of a public square in place of the western bus stands commence, with work completed late that year.[22]

50th anniversary

In May 2019 the bus station's refurbishment project received three Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) North West regional awards:[26]

  • The project won the overall Regional Award
  • Project consultants John Puttich Associates and Cassidy+Ashton won the Conservation Award
  • The Lancashire County

    On Saturday 19 October 2019, almost 50 years to the day since its opening on 12 October 1969, festivities were held on the new public square in front of the bus station, which included free public entertainment and three historic buses were provided by the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust "so the three main users of the bus station were represented".[25]

    In May 2019 the bus station's refurbishment project received three Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) North West regional awards:[26]

    • The project won the overall Regional Award
    • Project consultants John Puttich Associates and Cassidy+Ashton won the Conservation Award
    • The Lancashire County Council won the Client of the Year Award

    As a regional winner, the bus station was also a nominee for and won

    As a regional winner, the bus station was also a nominee for and won a RIBA National Award and received long-listing for the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize[27] but did not make the short list.[28]

    Media appearances