The future of Preston’s Bus Station has been debated on BBC Radio Lancashire following the announcement of its listed status.Advertisement
Leader of Preston City Council Peter Rankin and Save the Bus Station campaigner John Wilson sparred on the Gary Hickson show.
Councillor Rankin was challenged over what the city council are going to do now the building has been listed by the government.
When asked whether it stopped the council demolishing the building as planned, he admitted: “It does.”
He continued: “It’s disappointing but not unexpected. There was a very vigorous campaign by the architecture lobby nationwide. The minister is a well-known fan of brutalist architecture. In terms of whether it’s a beautiful building, it’s a marmite building and some love it or hate it.”
Mr Wilson, who said he hadn’t had time to read all of the listing documents yet, said it was time for everyone to adopt a positive attitude towards the building.
He said: “This building has trundled along for 10 years with a negative attitude from council leaders. This is a council run service and I’ve said if they take a positive view on this building and use the £8.3 million which is available to make it better.
“The building is slipping down and people talk about the toilets, urinals and the car park. If you go to Manchester Airport, Liverpool Airport, you are well looked after and feel comfortable. That’s what you should feel in this building.”
Councillor Rankin responded that the listing of the building may make it more difficult for the council to invest in the building.
He said: “Usually they list all the contents. Take this 44-year-old rubber floor we’re stood on. It is in brilliant condition but we may not be able to do anything with it. One of things we said we’d like to do was provide modern electronic doors, but this may not now be possible. We will need to look at the detail of the listing, but as I say all options are open.
“It’s back to the drawing board. We could potentially apply for listed building consent to demolish it, I’m not saying that is the way we’re going to go. We have to look at everything.
“I’m not prepared to say what we’re going to do at this stage. All I’m saying is that’s possible.”
Preston City Council have said they will meet with Lancashire County Council to discuss their next steps for the building, as the current decision is to demolish it and build a smaller bus station.
Fans of the Bus Station have been hailing the building as all but saved after the listing decision.
View some of the tweets and reaction from Prestonians to the Bus Station being listed
What do you think of Rankin and Wilson’s views? Let us know your views in the comments below