A full report on Preston Bus Station & Car Park and Preston Markets was considered by the council’s Cabinet on 17 December 2012. The report set out the costs and various options for the future of the Bus Station. At the meeting Cabinet approved, in principle, the demolition of the city's Bus Station building.
For more information see the recent press release and further documents on the Bus Station and Car Park pages.
A. Preston Bus Station & Car Park is one of a number of buildings owned by Preston City Council that are in need of investment. Other buildings include Preston Market, Market Car Park, Covered Market Canopies, Preston Guildhall, Amounderness House, Lancastria House and the former Post Office building.
Between 2000 and 2011, the council sought to re-develop the city centre and these buildings, through an ambitious retail led redevelopment project called ‘Tithebarn’. There was, therefore, limited investment in buildings that were likely to be demolished as a result of the Tithebarn scheme.
Unfortunately, the Tithebarn scheme did not happen and the position is such now in 2012, that repairs to Preston Bus Station & Car Park would cost at least £5.4m. The major repairs that are needed include lifts, ramps, concrete repairs and interior fixtures and fittings.
The city council has a total of £5m available for city centre re-developments. This money can only be spent once. The council is committed to investing in and regenerating Preston Market. This would take most if not all of the money that the council has available.
The council therefore simply has no money available to be able to invest in Preston Bus Station & Car Park – a building that is in a declining state of repair.
Further, the council believes that the Bus Station does not provide the best facilities for bus passengers and car park users.
The Bus Station at 80 bus bays is too large. It is twice the size of Bus Station that is required for Preston, with the latest estimates suggesting it should be less than half the current number of bus bays.
Only 12 of the 80 bus bays truly cater for people with disabilities.
The car park is under used and does not offer the same standards as modern car parks. Access and exit ramps are difficult to use. The Bus Station does not serve passengers as well as it should. Facilities are out-dated, under passes are unwelcoming.
A. Repairs include various concrete repairs, roof repairs, electrical repairs, re-flooring, new entrance doors, new boilers and heating equipment, new lifts and a new fire alarm.
A. The Council has looked at this. Transport consultants Jacobs UK Limited were appointed to explore the potential of refurbishment. The cost of refurbishing Preston Bus Station has been estimated at between £17m and £23.1m.
The city council does not have anything remotely near the amount of £23m required to refurbish the Bus Station. The city council would have to borrow the money. Repaying a loan of £23m would cost taxpayers an extra £2.195m a year in debt repayments - the equivalent of putting council tax up by 24% a year.
A. Yes - a copy of the Jacob’s consultants report can be found on the background documents page.
A. Yes, councillors take all aspects into consideration when making a decision.
A. £297,000 a year. The total cost (expenditure) is £488,000 a year but this is offset by income of £191,000: Leaving a total annual bill of £297,000.
A. The council is not aware of any funding that would be available for the Bus Station, for the kind of work that needs to be done.
A. The council has talked to developers about the possibility of investing and developing the Bus Station. However, no developer has been forthcoming with any proposals to invest in the Bus Station.
A. It is unlikely to be realistic. Up to £23.1m is required to refurbish the Bus Station & Car Park. There are 60,515 council tax payers in Preston. A refurbishment cost of £23.1m would mean that every tax payer in Preston would need to donate over £371 each to a public campaign for the Bus Station. This is the scale of the funding that is required for Preston Bus Station & Car Park.
A. The council has already tried this, previously meeting developers about the Bus Station. This included developing the Bus Station & Car Park so that it was half as a Bus Station and half as shopping. However, the costs and scale of the investment required meant that such a scheme could not be made to pay. The council would be willing to meet with investors/developers - as long as they were serious about the Bus Station & Car Park with money to invest. A solution must though be found in the near future.
A. Costs are estimated at between £10.8m and £15.3m. No detailed designs are available at this stage.
A. The city council does not have the funds available. However, in the event that the city council demolishes or decommissions the existing Bus Station & Car Park building, it would work with Lancashire County Council to develop proposals for new Bus Station facilities.
A. This would be subject to further analysis but the most recent assessment suggests considerably less than the current 80 are needed – possibly 36 or less would be sufficient to meet the needs of passengers and bus operators.
A. If the Bus Station & Car Park were demolished there would be a need to provide replacement car parking. In the short term this is likely to be on the same site on a surface car park. The number of spaces is estimated at 350. This is a lot less than the 1,100 capacity of the current multi-story car park because it is rarely, if ever, full.
A. No. In February 2012 the council debated and rejected the idea of a referendum. The costs of holding a referendum are estimated at £120,000.
A. There is no set date. Planning permission to demolish the current Bus Station and build a new one would be needed before any work was carried out on site.
A. It is likely to be on part of the existing Bus Station site.
A. The current building is a Bus Station and multi-storey car park. A new Bus Station would be a modern facility. It would be built to modern standards with better waiting facilities, easier access to buses and offer a more welcoming, safer and more secure environment for bus passengers. It would have fewer bus bays as the current building operates at over capacity.
A. A new facility on the same site is unlikely to affect routes in and out of the city centre.
A. As soon as possible following planning approval.
A. Temporary arrangements would be put into place but there is likely to be some inconvenience during such a period.
A. Significant funding is required for Preston Bus Station. The council does not believe this can be found – especially at a time when council budgets and public spending as a whole is being cut.
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