Delight at bus station status

Protesters against the demolition of Preston Bus Station
Protesters against the demolition of Preston Bus Station
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The son of Preston bus station’s designer has expressed his delight the iconic city centre structure has taken an apparent major step forward to being saved from demolition.

Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, has announced that the building, dating from 1969, has been given Grade II listed status.

The decision, in response to an application from English Heritage, follows a long campaign to save the station, which councillors in Preston want to demolish as they say it costs £300,000 a year to run.

But English Heritage has admitted the new status is “not a Preservation Order” and campaigners, led by the Save Preston Bus Station group, celebrated the Minister’s decision guardedly, with spokesman John Wilson saying: “It’s fantastic news but only the tip of the iceberg. Now we have to convince the council to think like English Heritage think.”

And defiant Preston mayor Coun Veronica Afrin said: “It really doesn’t stop us doing anything with the bus station – we will just have to apply for permission to do it.”

But Simon Ingham, of Ripon Road, Ansdell – son of station designer Keith – said: “It’s great news. If they want to knock it down, I would think it will have to go to a public inquiry and that will cost a lot of money.

“Whether you love it or hate it, the bus station is a great example of the architecture of its time and dad was very proud of it.

“It is an icon of the city and this decision is a vindication of the design.

“Now it needs some clever people to make the most of the structure, and give it a new lease of life.

“It doesn’t need to be a bus station.”