Huntingdon Street Bus Station - Part One

Huntingdon Street Bus Station - Part One

At the age of 11, like most healthy children, I started lying to my parents. I was allowed the freedom to travel to Manchester Airport (for the planes) or the city centre (for the buses), but any travels further afield had to be negotiated and in all cases I had to be home by 6pm. This did not fit in with my enthusiasm for buses as friends had already seduced me with tales of far-flung destinations such as Nottingham's rightly famous Huntingdon Street Bus Station. In December 1964 I finally reached this exotic site at the extreme range of a believable lie ("the bus hasn't turned up at Ringway, so I won't be home until sevenish.."), It was well worth the risk.

I'd previously used the X2 limited stop service, operated jointly by North Western and Trent, to visit Bakewell and Matlock. The relatively early first departure (08:15 from Manchester's Lower Mosley St Bus Station) made these intermediate locations "do-able" within my time limits, but Nottingham was more than three hours away. Even four hours in Nottingham would mean an arrival back at Lower Mosley St at 18:39 and then I had to get back to suburban Sale on MCTD's service 47. It added up to seven and a half hours of travelling for four hours at the other end. To any non-enthusiast it sounds a little strange, but I used to do the journey quite regularly in 1965 -1969, often continuing to Chilwell, Gotham, or Newark during my four hours in Nottinghamshire. Wherever I was ultimately headed a stop at Huntingdon Street was always an added bonus.

The route from Manchester to Nottingham was equally fascinating, with vehicles from Hulley, Silver Service, and Sheffield JOC visible in Bakewell and those of Silver Service, East Midland, and Midland General in Matlock. More Midland General buses could be noted in Ripley, and then in Ilkeston came the first whiff of the Barton empire with their high frequency services to the nearby Kirk Hallam housing estate. The 08:15 from Manchester finally arrived in Huntingdon Street at around 11:25 (15 minutes early), most crews tearing up the timetable after picking up their final passengers in Matlock. The vehicle (usually a 41 seat Alexander Z type "Highlander" by 1964 - 66) would then park up opposite Platform 4, alongside the buildings almost universally known to bus enthusiasts as "The Tram Depot". Which they weren't (and never had been), but we'll get to that shortly. Before we move on I should explain that Millstone Lane (Huntingdon St to be) actually ran from the NNW to the SSE, but for the purposes of this article will be treated as if it ran North to South and the cross streets from east to west. It's easier for all of us.

History and Geography

The area of Nottingham where the future bus station would be sited was more than a little bit rough in the Victorian era. The part of the city bounded by Millstone Lane (renamed Huntingdon Street in 1931), King Edward Street, St Ann's Well Road, Curzon Street, and St Marks Street, was occupied by a mixture of back-to-back tenement buildings and low-rent commercial premises thrown up in a hurry during the Industrial Revolution. The land which became the southern half of the bus station (platforms 1-4) was previously taken up by no less than five dead-end streets of densely populated terraces leading east from Millstone Lane. At their eastern end they abutted against similar housing on four much longer terraced streets leading northwards from King Edward St/St Ann's Well Road. Running east-west at the northern end of this parcel of land was Curzon Place, which originally ran through from Curzon Street to Millstone Lane until the western half was eliminated and became the central driveway between the northern and southern halves of the bus station.

Poor quality commercial buildings including warehousing, some fairly ramshackle shops, and two pubs occupied the western side of Millstone Lane for the full length of the future bus station. On the eastern side of Millstone Lane, to the north of Curzon Place and to the south of the buildings on the next east-west road (St Marks St), a recreation ground or small park was provided for the benighted tenants of the local slums. This area was created in the late 1850s by a private benefactor who gave the land to the City council. Funds were also provided for the construction of a "lodge" at the northern end of the recreation ground with a clock tower, a kitchen for the production of drinks and snacks, a storage area for tables and chairs (which were deployed in appropriate weather conditions to the paved area outside of the lodge which included a scenic fountain), and residential accommodation for the park-keeper and his family. This was completed in 1860 and known as Lammas Lodge.

Redevelopment is so last century

A major slum clearance scheme removed all of the terraced housing on the streets at the southern end of the future bus station in the late 1890s, the residents being moved to more hygienic estates further out from the city centre. The long dead-end streets heading northwards gave way to an edifice symbolic of the new technological age. Nottingham was in the process of electrifying its tramways and power was needed, both for this purpose and for use in the adjacent residential areas along St Ann's Well Rd. The north-south terraces were replaced by the St Ann's Well Road Electricity Generating Station (aka "The Tram Depot"), opened in 1902 along with the electrified line which passed its front doors, The architecture of the two original buildings was identical to that of the city's new tram sheds at Sherwood (opened in 1900), which may have been the source of later confusion about the buildings' original purpose. Despite the architectural similarities the St Ann's Well Road facility contained motor generation units for Direct Current power production rather than anything on bogies. A third building was added shortly before the First World War, adjoining the northern half of the original two structures on their western side. This was built to house the ancillary (road) vehicles needed to maintain the city's tramways.

Other redevelopment work was taking place in the area. On the south side of King Edward St the Salvation Army built an impressive structure known as The William Booth Memorial Halls in 1915, commemorating the organisation's founder who had died three years earlier. The building's bell tower, with its distinctive dome at the top, provided background scenery for many a photograph taken at the bus station's southern end in years to come.

At this point in time the southern half of the future bus station was vacant land alongside the power station, while the northern half was still a recreation ground although the population it was designed to serve had already been transplanted elsewhere. Things remained in this state until the mid-1920s when the City council decided to redevelop the entire area. The western side of Millstone Lane, between King Edward St and Kent Street (the next side road heading west) was then designated as the site of a new Central Market. This was a very large oblong building with Millstone Lane on one of its short sides. Its longer side took up the entire length of Kent St to its junction with Glasshouse St, the next north-south thoroughfare to the west alongside Victoria railway station. The new market opened to the public in 1928.

Photographer unknown - this image is an enlargement from an uncredited 10 x 8 print I bought in a Nottingham junk-shop about 30 years ago.

In this mid 1930s aerial shot Huntingdon Street is running from south (top right) to north (bottom left). Slightly to the left of centre at the top are the William Booth Memorial Halls with the distinctive bell-tower, situated on the corner of King Edward St and Bath St, and a Nottingham Corporation trolleybus is visible turning into Bath St. At this junction King Edward St continued to the left as St Ann's Well Road. The power station buildings are visible on the left hand side of the photograph, the shorter one alongside the bus station being built after the other two to house maintenance vehicles. By the time of this photograph it was already in its second incarnation as a covered municipal car park. The remains of Curzon Place are out of shot, but the north (bottom) end of the power station and the dividing driveway between the two halves of the bus station indicate its original alignment. Just out of shot on the left hand side is the distinctive Lammas Lodge. On the right hand side of the photograph the extremely large building is the Central Market, bounded by King Edward St, Huntingdon St, and Kent St which divides it from Huntingdon House to the north. The change of roof-line level in the middle of the Kent St side of Huntingdon House marks the site of the Dutton's bus garage, later used by Trent. Continuing downwards on Huntingdon St, Rick Street is on the side of Huntingdon House closest to the bottom of the photograph. Across the road a vacant lot is just visible at bottom left. This helps to date the photograph as this lot became the site of the new Barton Transport building and garage in 1939.

And now (you might be glad to hear!) we finally get to the bus station. Until 1929 Nottingham had no official municipal bus station. Most operators (including the council itself) used street stands while others clung to their private parking grounds to avoid the need for licences from the council's Watch Committee. The bus industry, however, was booming by the late 1920s and a similar rise in the number of goods vehicles and private cars entering the city was contributing to severe congestion. Shortly after the formal opening of the market the council announced the establishment of a new "Central Bus Station" on the opposite side of Millstone Lane. The derelict land alongside the power station became its southern half (platforms 1-4), the western half of Curzon Place was closed to traffic and became its central east-west driveway, and the redundant recreation ground was paved over to become the northern half of the bus station, consisting of platforms 5-8 and a parking area to the east which stretched from the power station's northern edge over to Lammas Lodge (which survived the elimination of the park it had been built to serve). Pedestrian access from the truncated Curzon Place to Millstone Lane was provided by a public footpath which skirted the northern edge of the new bus station site, passing Lammas Lodge. The end of the surviving half of Curzon Place will be familiar from many photographs taken in the bus parking area. To the south, adjacent to the power station on St Ann's Well Road was a small car park at the back of the New Empress cinema (a bingo hall in later years). The original Empress on King Edward St had been demolished to make way for the Central Market and the new site offered in part compensation. On the north side of Curzon Place a fairly modest two storey building had a large sign on its gable end proclaiming it to be the premises of the Nottingham Butchers Products & Casing Co. In pre-war years it had been owned by a dairy products wholesaler called Colton.

The new bus station opened in late 1929, but despite extensive research over the years I have never been able to pin down the exact date. Any offers? Almost all of the non-municipal bus services had relocated to the bus station before the end of the year. Barton was particularly enthusiastic, having previously used three separate sites scattered around the city centre, and the Barton family sometimes claimed credit for the creation of the new facility as their founder had first suggested the idea in 1926. To be honest, it seems doubtful that nobody thought of the idea before him. The establishment of the bus station gave further impetus to the redevelopment of Millstone Lane. In 1930 work began on a major new office building on the block between Kent St and Rick Street (the next side street to the north). This was completed in 1931 and named Huntingdon House to reflect the new name of the street which it stood upon. The council had redeveloped Millstone Lane itself by merging it with St Michael's Road (to the north) and Cross Street (to the south) to create what would later be termed an "inner city relief road" under the new name of Huntingdon Street. The bus terminal continued to be known as the Central Bus Station until 1943 when the opening of a second facility at Mount Street required a more specific title for the first.

Trent Motor Traction became the first tenant of Huntingdon House, using the ground floor unit at the corner of Huntingdon St and Kent St as a booking office. Other tenants were slower to arrive due to the economic turndown of the Great Depression, and for many years the entire frontage of the building carried "Trent" signs above the unrented ground floor units as if it was wholly theirs. By the late 1930s tenants had been found and introduced their own shop signs. Meanwhile Trent had also secured a small garage in the area by the purchase of Dutton's Unity Service in 1935. This brought a frequent service to Sutton-in-Ashfield (which became Trent route number 84) and the lease of Dutton's garage on Kent Street, facing the Central Market. Despite having an existing (and much larger) Nottingham garage at Manvers Street, ten minutes walk away, Trent retained the Kent Street premises until at least the 1960s.

Trent's new premises in Huntingdon House and Kent Street seemed to spur two other operators into action. Barton built their own premises (including offices and a garage) on Huntingdon Street between Rick Street and the next side road to the north, Howard Street, and this opened in 1939. Not to be outdone, Robin Hood Coaches moved their head office and garage to new premises in Huntingdon St in the same year, occupying the site on the far side of Howard St. In the kind of dreadful terminology used by present-day urban planners, Huntingdon St had become "The Bus Company Quarter" with the offices and garages of all three operators visible from the bus station.

In Part Two of this article I will be completing the history of the bus station between 1939 and 1964 and then giving a platform by platform tour of the Huntingdon Street I knew from personal experience. If you can contribute any photographs taken at the bus station between 1964 and 1971 they would be very much appreciated.

Neville Mercer
09/2015

 

To read part two Click Here

 


15/09/15 - 10:36

Very interesting, Neville, although I've never been to Nottingham; indeed large, or even small bus stations seem to have eluded my life, apart from Preston. Were they more of a Northern thing? There is some information and some more photos at this link: http://nottstalgia.com/forums/

Chris Hebbron


17/09/15 - 06:08

Great article, Neville. I'm looking forward to the next bit.
Well, Mr Hebbron, I have at least managed to visit Nottingham on two occasions, one a school trip to Trent Bridge and the other for a cousin's wedding. No, young Sir, bus stations are not just to be found in 'northern' areas. Amesbury, in the depths of Wiltshire, has one! Other places in this area include Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth. Lymington and Salisbury have closed in the last couple of years. Down in the south west, Tiverton has one.

Pete Davies


18/09/15 - 05:59

I could have put it more clearly, Pete, but I was really concentrating on large bus stations, like Nottingham and that awesome video of the last bus departure at Sheffield Bus Station in the 80's! Portsmouth's modern one is a shadow of the municipal(trolley)buses just parked in the road adjacent to it up, until harbour reclamation made the new station possible. Southdown's was just a row of buses along the sea front at South Parade Pier. No bus stations and no conveniences at all! Gosport/Fareham/Guildford/Pool Valley, Brighton were modest, by comparison. Even today, Gloucester has one with about 10 bays and Cheltenham a strange half-hearted one rooted in the late 1940's, minus any facilities, in a cramped semi-circle only half-used and other buses stopping elsewhere in an adjacent street. Finally, London had certain places where routes conglomerated by ending/passing by, that you could call termini, but not actual bus stations that I could recall up to the 60's and some that I'm still aware of have not changed. Victoria Rail Station forecourt was/is probably the one exception.
It raises the question; what is the most outstandingly good bus station, architecturally, that anyone is aware of, even if it has now been demolished? Something of St Pancras or even impressive art-deco standard might be asking too much, but we some of us must have come across something that stands out. Worst ones can also be mentioned. My worst one was the Midland Red one which formed part of Birmingham's Bull Ring, a vast semi-underground edifice with no windows, sparse fluorescent lights about 30 feet above the ground, dangerously narrow islands and a permanently wet floor and damp atmosphere. it rarely seemed to have more than three or four buses in there, although it probably had capacity for about thirty. It's gone now, unlamented and forgotten by all, even by me, until a few minutes ago! Will I ever recover from this sudden nightmare memory???

Chris Hebbron


18/09/15 - 10:17

No worries, Chris. Go and sit in a darkened room and keep taking the tablets.

Pete Davies


18/09/15 - 10:20

The north v south divide ?
Hants and Dorset had a large bus station in Bournemouth, with all the facilities to be expected, following the 1959 rebuild even a 'proper' restaurant. H&D also had bus stations 'with facilities' such as toilets, enquiry offices and the like at Poole (although the actual stops there were along the road, rather than on a dedicated piece of land), Southampton and Winchester. Further to the west, bus stations 'with facilities' come to mind at Taunton, Exeter, Plymouth, Camborne, Truro in the Southern/Western National area; to the north of the H&D area, Bristol Omnibus had stations at Bristol, Bath, and Gloucester ( larger than the present arrangement); whilst Wilts and Dorset had bus stations at Salisbury, Andover, Basingstoke and Amesbury; to the east, Southdown at Chichester and Lewes come to mind. There were others, of course.
Being from the 'south', on visits to the 'north' my impression was rather different to Neville's !! On making a first visit to Dinnington, (south Yorkshire) and the timetable saying 'bus station', I looked for a structure similar to those found in my 'home' area. Eventually I found the bus shelter (or was it 2) that were the relevant location. From memory, the bus stations in some 'Woollen District' towns, like Dewsbury and, I think, Heckmondwike,were of the same style. In Sheffield, Pond Street in the 1960s looked rather like a collection of huts - not an 'imposing facility' suitable for a large city. Similarly, on the other side of the Pennines, Lower Moseley Street or Piccadilly in Manchester also seemed like a set of bus shelters - again not a 'proper bus station' as I was used to find in H&D territory !!
In truth, I think there were some good bus stations 'up north' and also 'down south' - and some pretty dismal provision in both as well. (in the H&D area, Woolston was pretty sparse!).

As to 'iconic', maybe the 1930s architecture of the original part of Bournemouth's bus station would be a candidate - image attached is from a commercial postcard of the period in my collection, whilst the post rebuild horseshoe platform worked well - no reversing from sawtooth bays, and a continuous sheltered walkway / waiting area for passengers, separated from moving buses.

Peter Delaney


19/09/15 - 06:21

With reference to Chris Hebbrons comments about the best and worst Bus Stations. I recently obtained pictures of the 'New' Bus Station at Feethams, Darlington, Co Durham, operated by United Automobile Services Ltd. This was opened in 1962 and replaced open stands previously situated in the Leadyard.
The new Bus Station when opened was completely roofed over and had a central heating system, with 15 departure platforms. A ventilation system kept the air, fresh and free from exhaust fumes, at least this was in the early years.
It quickly gained a reputation, for being a somewhat 'smelly and unpleasant place', as the building doubled as a Garage, and maintenance facility, with a workshop with 3 pits for inspection and repairs, as well as the Bus Station.
Passenger facilities consisted of an Enquiry Office, a Left Luggage Office, Toilets, and a Cafè. Above which were the offices of the Area Traffic Superintendent, and his staff. 60 vehicles could be housed in the Garage.
The 'Darlington Bus Wars' after de-regulation, meant that the use of the Bus Station decreased to mainly National Express, and Excursion, and Holiday coaches, with Service buses increasingly using street stands.
After numerous planning applications were submitted to the Borough Council (who owned the land and building) it granted planning permission for a Hotel, Leisure Facilities, with various Restaurants and Quick food establishments, and a Multiplex Cinema.
After serving the travelling public of Darlington for 47 years, demolition took place in 2009, and the land was used as a Car Park until building commenced in 2014.

Stephen Howarth


19/09/15 - 06:22

My own recollections of Huntingdon Street are limited to a couple of return trips I made from Newark by W.Gash when visiting RAF Swinderby on an ATC summer camp in 1961. My pictures of Gash Daimlers taken in Huntingdon Street may be found elsewhere on OBP - the Freeline shot clearly shows the William Booth Memorial Hall in the background. In terms of sheer variety, this must surely have been one of the most engrossing bus stations in the land. Chris H has raised the question of nominating the worst bus stations. Yes, I agree about Birmingham Bull Ring, but Northampton Greyfriars was every bit its equal in its representation of Hell. Others that come to mind include the one at Reading, and the abomination at Corby (with its ineradicable aroma of reprocessed late night liquid refreshment). Of the better ones, I always liked the old bus stations at Aldershot and Guildford Farnham Road, both now gone under "development", surely one of the most misapplied words of the age.

Roger Cox


19/09/15 - 06:23

I took a walk round to Huntingdon Street a couple of year's ago: the Barton depot was still recognisable (and, taking out the space occupied by the ground-floor booking offices, surprisingly small), the Robin Hood depot still existed, and I'm pretty sure Huntingdon House was there - although I was looking for a bus depot as I didn't realise the Trent depot was down a side street. I can't remember what was on the bus station side. I'm in Nottingham in a couple of weeks time, so I can have another look with the benefit of Neville's article to guide me . . . or, as I've just realised, I could do it all tonight with the help of Google Streetview.
Regarding YWD bus stations: Dewsbury and Cleckheaton were (at least until they fell into decline in the 1970s) pretty substantial affairs with crew rest-rooms, tobacconists, and enquiry offices; Batley and Ossett were pretty grim, being a few islands of pre-cast concrete shelters, although Batley did have an enquiry office until the mid-70s(?); but Heckmondwike never has had a bus station.
Nelson bus station reminded me, in one respect at least, of Bull Ring Bus Station - narrow platforms without any railings, and in Nelson's case serving both sides . . . at least, although it was under a multi-storey car park, it wasn't as fume-ridden as Bull Ring. A new bus station has replaced the Nelson facility, but the old bus station still exists preserved exactly as the day it closed.

Philip Rushworth


20/09/15 - 06:47

There was more than one Nelson bus station, Philip! Down in South Wales there is also a Nelson which was once served by Caerphilly, West Mon, Pontypridd and Gelligaer as well as Red and White. It was quite a small affair and built on the site of the Pontypridd to Nelson & Llancaiach railway which once ran in a cutting here.
As you can see from the photograph the bus station was a fairly basic affair and despite the impressive list of operators not actually all that busy - the four municipalities had all been involved in the purchase of local operator Commercial Motor Services of Treharris. The joint operation that ensued saw some of them only appearing on certain days of the week. By the time of my photo (1978) it was served by Rhymney Valley, Islwyn and National Welsh.

David Beilby


31/10/15 - 08:16

The question about large bus stations being largely a northern feature is interesting.
To a large extent it is a result of the way population is spread around, but there is also to some extent the question of how individual local authorities reacted to providing for bus services.
The south of England has generally fewer really large towns and cities where a large bus station might be required. Bristol, the largest, managed with on street stops for local services, and essentially all the larger places were surrounded with rural areas where lower density of traffic meant that even quite extensive networks could be catered for with relatively small bus stations or a series of separated on-street locations.
By contrast, consider the number of places served from somewhere like Pond Street in Sheffield and their populations, with high frequency services and large passenger volumes.
Of larger bus stations in the south, Bournemouth has already been mentioned, but the one large one that comes to mind - partly because it was used by city services as well as longer distance ones is Cardiff, illustrated as attached in 1969.

Alan Murray-Rust


02/11/15 - 06:33

I paid a visit to Nottingham a couple of weeks ago, and had a poke around the Huntingdon Street area - it's eerily deserted these days, hard to think of it as a public transport hub really. Huntingdon House is still standing, but completely anonymous (I suppose it might be used for office accommodation), as are the Barton and Robin Hood depots - last time I visited (about 5 years ago) the doors to the Barton Depot were open, and behind the elaborate frontage/offices it is really quite a small depot; the doorways to Robin Hood depot have been modified to take metal roller-shutters - it might still be in use, but there were no signs of life - but they weren't overly wide and access onto the narrowish public road must have been tight as vehicle sizes increased. Trent's Kent St depot has been demolished, but the replacement building appears to follow the same roof-line, and seems to have a mews/carriage-entrance roughly where the depot entrance would have been.
Neville's article got me thinking - did many towns boast three bus stations? Well, I think Guildford did until the current Friary Centre bus station was built (and am I correct in thinking that the mixture of end-on bays and that line of run-through bays at the "top end" [the ones that look a like an after-thought] were a result of LCBS drivers refusing to use the end-on loading bays?), Glasgow? Liverpool? Manchester? all might fit the bill . . . Leeds, Newcastle, and Scarborough could muster four, if you include the coach stations in Leeds and Newcastle (which in Leeds's case also serviced the coastal limited-stop services). Any more for four?/advance on four??
Didn't Leigh boast two bus stations at one time - one LUT, one municipal? Was that the smallest town with more than one bus station??

Philip Rushworth


03/11/15 - 06:37

Another town with three bus stations was Doncaster. North andSouth bus stations were both underneath multi storey car parks whilst the favourite of many enthusiasts was Christchurch , the home of a number of the many Doncaster independent operators.

Andrew Charles


03/11/15 - 14:55

Three Doncaster Bus Stations: up to a point, Charles but you need to go further back! For many years there were Marshgate and North Bridge in the north and Waterdale in the South. Christchurch was really a streetside bus terminus, I think, in which it joined a few other spots around town used by the Corporation. Only North Bridge was wired for tracklesses (to use the local parlance). The revealing thing is that Doncaster did not have north-south through routes as the A1 was so slow through the town that you might as well walk it. Only later were bus stations built for troglodytes.

Joe


04/11/15 - 06:31

All of this talk about Doncaster! In the really dim and distant past, the opposite end of the Trent 64/East Midland 36 from Nottingham Huntingdon Street, was Doncaster Glasgow Paddocks. Where was that, and how did it fit into this plethora of bus stations?!

Stephen Ford


04/11/15 - 06:31

Before the present Friary bus station, Guildford had two bus stations, both of which were opened in 1950. The first was at Onslow Street, a basic tarmac area with minimal facilities, next to the old 1901 Dennis Factory now known as Rodboro Buildings. Onslow Street was intended to be a temporary bus station, and a more substantial facility was constructed just the other side of the River Wey at Farnham Road, the two being linked by a pedestrian footbridge. Onslow Street was supervised by London Transport whose departures from there predominated. Farnham Road was managed by Aldershot & District whose extensive network served much of local Guildford and radiated beyond into West Surrey and Hampshire. In the event the intended expansion of Farnham Road never took place, and Onslow Street remained in use right up to the time when both bus stations were engulfed in the brutalist new bridge construction that now defaces central Guildford as part of a misconceived gyratory system. Whilst the old Friary Meux brewery site was being redeveloped as (inevitably) a covered shopping mall, buses were dispersed to other streets, mainly Commercial Road (the location of the current Friary bus station) and Millbrook, and some A&D routes ran from the much reduced Farnham Road site for a while. There is now talk of closing Friary bus station (to extend the Friary shopping centre) and relocating public transport to Bedford Road, away from the commercial centre of the town. As ever, the lowly bus passenger barely registers on the social scale with local authorities.

Roger Cox


04/11/15 - 16:02

There's a poser Stephen: some call it Waterdale Bus Station, others Glasgow Paddocks. I think that Waterdale Bus Station was in Glasgow Paddocks, which were originally fields. Long distance coaches such as United to London left from Waterdale itself, opposite, but this was less a bus station, more a parking area. Any advance...?

Joe


Phillip Rushworth asks whether anywhere had more than four bus stations.
In fact, for a time until the early sixties, Leeds had five:-
Starting from the Wellington Street Coach Station 1) facility which, as he states, serviced express coach services and certain West Yorkshire long distance bus routes to the East Coast, and proceeding in a clockwise direction:-
2) Rockingham Street Bus Station which serviced a few LCT routes to the north and west of the city.
3) Vicar Lane Bus Station which was used by all WYRCC services into the city apart from service 34 to Otley, and Ilkley. United Automobile, EYMS and Sam Ledgards buses could also be found here on the services they shared with West Yorkshire.
4) Central Bus Station, used by LCT for all terminating routes from the east of the city and most from the north and west. Additionally, this is where T Burrows and Son, Kippax & District and South Yorkshire Motors routes started, most West Riding Autos began and where you could find the occasional Yorkshire Traction or Sheffield "C" fleet bus on route 67 which they shared with West Riding, to the latter named city.
5) Finally, there was the Cross York Street Bus Station used solely by West Riding on their "red" routes (tram replacement services) to Rothwell, Wakefield and Kettlethorpe.
I'm not sure which of (2) or (5) above Philip forgot. In fairness, the Cross York Street establishment was purpose built and, though small, adequate facilities were close by whereas the Rockingham Street site was no more than a street with barriers at four(?) stops where crews took their rest.
Finally, could I nominate Talbot Road Bus Station in Blackpool as Britains worst Bus Station? Purpose built with a car park above, it was dark and gloomy, seemed to retain all fumes produced (not just from the buses!) unsafe for passengers who were supposed to wait along one side of the ground floor whilst buses drove in, parked and unloaded before loading, and had a resident flock of unhouse-trained pigeons and seagulls.

Steve Crompton


09/11/15 - 06:49

Steve, it was Rockingham St that I had overlooked. So that's five for Leeds - not to forget the YWD/Hebble routes that were quarantined to the Queen St/Sovereign St areas . . . and, as you mentioned, the Cookridge St stance for the Ledgard/WY services towards Otley through Bramhope.

Philip Rushworth

 


 

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