City bus users will get a glimpse of the future when they book a ticket to ride at Preston’s Bus Station this week.
The first part of its new look concourse is now open to the public and bus operators.
Andrew Barrow, project manager for bus station owners Lancashire County Council, said: “People will see a big difference. The work aims to respect the listed aspects of the building, while providing new glazing, lighting and much more. We’ve also got new bus bays, with a number of new safety features for passengers and bus operators.”
The concourse is being refurbished in four stages and it is expected work will be completed by the end of the year.
Due to the Grade II listed status of the bus station, hailed as an iconic example of brutalist architecture, some temporary finishes have been applied, until all the refurbishment work is completed. It is intended a new digital clock will be incorporated into the original clock, in keeping with the original design.
Keen eyed visitors will notice that external numbers on stands do not tally with those inside. A council spokesman said: “Inside the concourse we’re required to retain the original 40 stands, as part of the listed status, but with fewer external bays to meet modern accessibility standards. As a result, a number will be missed out on every sixth external bay to keep them in sync with the internal numbering. This won’t affect passengers, as these numbers are only used by drivers arriving at the bus station.”
There are also plans for a public square and Youth zone on the site.
Changes to bus stands are possible as work continues and members of the public are asked to check notices near the main entrances for latest updates.
• Improvement work is also continuing on the station car park levels three to five. The ramp at the south end of the car park is now closed for refurbishment. The north ramp reopened in March and the top four levels of the car park have also reopened following repairs and redevelopment.