Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Bus Station to survive?

Talbot Road Bus Station has reportedly been reprieved as part of the Talbot Gateway, due to cost implications of demolishing one car park and replacing it with another. The former Bus Station area on the ground floor is earmarked for retail space. TRBS has been associated with Blackpool's buses for decades, despite a decline in usage since most services were taken out by Blackpool Transport in April 2002. Now just one section is in use for coach services and over half the floor area is given over to cars.

The site - once Talbot Mews - has been dedicated to transport since the 1920s. The present building was constructed in 1938 and the bus terminus brought into use in August with the car park following later. In 1940 the sides were bricked up to allow emergency bus garaging during the war and soon after the car park became a munitions factory. In the 1960s the frontage was opened out again and reclad, with changes to the traffic flow in the 1970s requiring a new entrance on Deansgate.

The site has never been particularly hospitable and became quite hazardous by mixing pedestrians and buses without use of queue barriers or platforms. It is, however, a local landmark and a sympathetic refurbishment may give it a new lease of life. Hopefully the long covered 'transport frieze' can be restored to match that on the town hall wall.