From several years experience of using public transport, I have come across the most sublime and the ridiculous bus termini throughout the UK.
My favourite bus stations are in Huddersfield, Hyde, Leeds, Middleton (the new one near the Arches shopping centre), Chorley and Bury Interchange. Though the latter is rather mediocre, Bury Interchange holds a special place being the point of interchange between the late lamented 400 Trans-Lancs Express service and the East Lancashire Railway.
Huddersfield is one of my favourite bus stations owned by Metro West Yorkshire PTE, using a single terminal layout, due to the complex being well lit and ventilated. My other reason for favouring this terminus is real time information. Though common in West Yorkshire bus stations, Greater Manchester is light years behind (other than the odd installation on Quality Bus Corridors).
Sadly, the purpose of this post is not for praising the best bus stations. This concentrates on the hell holes, the vandalised and forgotten. My candidates for Bus Stations from Hell include:
- Radcliffe (pre-2003 design);
- Great Yarmouth (underneath the Market Gates Shopping Centre; dimly lit and user unfriendly);
- Nelson (under the Arndale Centre car park);
- Manchester, Chorlton Street Bus Station (Mark III, pre-2002 refurbishment; as above, under a car park);
- Lancaster (PFI project; concourse too small for intense usage though operational sound);
- Hednesford (ageing shelters and vandalism; lost potential; wrong side of the railway station);
- Boston (too far from the town centre, featureless).
Here are the not so magnificent seven bus stations. I would be happy to hear your comments or further additions to this hall of shame.
S.V., 16 August 2006.