Following the recent news that Preston Bus Station looks set to be demolished I contacted John Wilson, who is at the forefront of the Save Preston Bus Station campaign.
John tells me that all is not lost, the building can be saved. He knew the feasibility study was in the Council for discussion, but couldn’t get access to it. But is is out to look at now.
John says they appear to have have added +40% on the estimate cost as ‘scare tactics’ pushing this at the public but not told anyone. It’s being driven by Lancashire County Council (LCC). Many non-Prestonians are involved in these decisions so we lads born and bred will need to push this hard.
He has a plan that will blow the Council out of the water, but he says he will need a lot of help from people like us, and many more.
The annocement of the demolition is the first since the extremely disappointing and drawn-out collapse of the Tithebarn scheme. Preston Council and LCC formed a plan to demolish the current icon and replace it with a bus station on the same site. The figures in the current story bear no resemblance to past figures with the demolition costs having decreased whilst it seems that the modernisation costs have increased 6 times.
Previously, Preston Council but the cost of modernisation at £4m and a replacement bus station at £23-25m. Now the figures show modernisation costing £23m, demolition at £1.8m and the cost of a replacement is conveniently swept under the carpet.
Figures from May 2010: http://www.lep.co.uk/news/local/bus-station-s-soaring-cost-1-767368
Furthermore, John says, plans to develop a smaller replacement bus station on the same site seem to counter to the argument of many that the current bus station is “in the wrong place”.
This proposed demolition also marks the final days of the Guild Hall as a viable venue as the 1169 parking spaces provide the only connected and local parking for visitors.
John says that we will have to work hard to save the building. But we can do it.
Have a look at the documents here: Preston Bus Station Documents