Preston bus station to be demolished

Preston City Council has admitted that it can no longer afford to maintain the city’s iconic bus station and made the first moves in having it bulldozed.

The annual running costs of almost £300,000 became too much for the council. Estimates also said it would cost £23m to refurbish and more than £5m just to keep it in its current state.

After all other avenues were explored, it was decided that the £1.8m demolition plan was the most viable for the council’s squeezed funds.

Council leader Peter Rankin said: “This is a truly difficult decision for the council. I do understand why some people like the building and want to keep it.

“It is a building that creates strong emotions both for and against. Certainly as a council we have looked at and explored the option of investing and refurbishing the current bus station building.

“The costs alone for repairing the bus station building - with the new lifts, ramps and various concrete repairs needed - are in excess of £5.4m. As a council we only have £5m available. We have decided to use this to spearhead development in Preston city centre.”

The decision is expected to be finalised next week, and planning permission for its replacement submitted in early 2013.