Preston Bus Station is the central bus terminus in the city of Preston in Lancashire, England. Built in the Brutalist architectural style between 1968 and 1969, designed by Keith Ingham and Charles Wilson of Building Design Partnership with E. H. Stazicker, it has a capacity of 80 double-decker buses, 40 along each side of the building. Some claim that it is the second largest bus station in Western Europe. Pedestrian access to the Bus Station is through any of three subways, one of which links directly to the adjacent Guild Hall, while the design also incorporates a multi-storey car park of five floors with space for 1,100 cars.
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."
EndangeredThe building was threatened with demolition as part of the City Council's Tithebarn redevelopment project. Although the Tithebarn development has now collapsed, there are still proposals to demolish the bus station and replace it with a small interchange near the railway station.
In 2000, opposition to the 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." Listing was subsequently rejected. A survey conducted by the Lancashire Evening Post in May 2010 found that Preston Bus Station was Preston people's favourite building.
A further application to list the bus station was rejected in 2010 and a review of the decision was turned down in 2011. It featured on the 2012 World Monument Fund's list of sites at risk.
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.
On 7 December 2012, Preston City Council announced that the bus station would be demolished. They said that it would cost £23m to refurbish it and more than £5m to just keep it standing.
After much speculation of being saved from an investor, it was finally revealed in February 2013 that the anonymous benefactor is Simon Rigby, a local entrepreneur.
Preston Bus Station was listed as a Grade II Building on 23 September 2013.