PARK AND PRIDE: Preston’s dark, dank multi-storey transformed

Preston bus station
Preston bus station
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Once it was a no-go area for hundreds of women drivers.

Even County Hall’s former leader Jennifer Mein refused to venture up there – and her authority owned it.

Preston bus station

Preston bus station

Now Preston Bus Station’s multi-storey car park looks lighter, brighter and far more user-friendly.

When fully finished it will, say county officials, provide “a better overall experience” for the people who use it.

Wider car bays, improved lighting, better parking surfaces and a full CCTV security camera network are designed to take the fear factor out of visiting the city’s biggest and boldest public car park.

Work on bringing the 1970s building bang up to date is coming along nicely, as these latest internal photographs show.

People will already be able to see big differences in the upper car park levels and on the newly-renovated section of the concourse.

“This work is making the car park levels more welcoming and will encourage more people to use them,” said Andrew Barrow, LCC’s project manager for the bus station redevelopment.

“People will already be able to see big differences in the upper car park levels and on the newly-renovated section of the concourse.

“There’s much more work still to come and we hope that people will bear with us while this work takes place.”

The top four of the car park’s nine levels have been finished, as have the access and exit ramps at the north end nearest to the Holiday Inn.

Preston bus station

Preston bus station

Work has switched to levels three, four and five and to the ramps at the Guild Hall end of the building.

“There’s already been a lot of progress at the bus station, with work progressing well on the various stages of the redevelopment,” explained Andrew Barrow.

“This is a complicated and detailed piece of work, especially keeping the building open during this time.

“We’re generally on schedule at this stage. We’re doing everything that we can to keep the disruption to a minimum.

“As well as repairing the building, we’re also improving some of the features while respecting the listed status, to provide a better overall experience for people who use the building.”

The refurbishment of the bus station is part of a £23m project which the county council embarked on in 2015 after it purchased the Grade II Listed building from Preston City Council for a nominal amount.

Work is being done to repair the original concrete which has deteriorated in parts over the 40-plus years since the bus station was built.

The ground floor concourse is also being given a facelift, with work to restore it to its former glory - strictly controlled due to its Listed status – going on in four phases.

Some parts have already been revamped, with the bus station continuing to operate around the renovation work.

Once the work is complete the developers will move in to build the long-awaited Preston Youth Zone on the northern end of the bus station apron, together with a public open space on the rest of it.