The transport information centre at Preston bus station is to be closed down after a bid to take it over was rejected.
Lancashire County Council received an expression of interest from a commercial organisation which wanted to continue running the service after closure plans were announced last year.
But the authority has concluded that the applicant had presented a “significantly limited” business case – meaning the council’s face-to-face travel information and ticket sales service will end at the iconic building.
Member for transport, Keith Iddon, told a cabinet meeting at County Hall that the Preston bid “fell very short of the requirements”. The same company was also refused permission to take over the running of three other travel centres under threat of closure at Carnforth railway station and the Clitheroe and Nelson interchanges.
However, the Clitheroe and Carnforth facilities attracted successful bids from community groups and are likely to remain open.
County Cllr Iddon raised the prospect that “other facilities on Preston bus station” could provide a similar service to the one which is to be withdrawn. The closure process at Preston and Nelson will now begin – but a date on which the services will end has not been decided.
Last year’s public consultation found 65 percent of almost 900 respondents would travel less often if the four facilities were closed.
A council assessment concluded that the service was “particularly popular with older people and people with disabilities” for whom getting information from other sources was perceived to be more difficult.
The move is expected to save the county council £156,000 per year when implemented.