Talbot Road Bus Station
1959 and MCW bodied 307 curves around Layton roundabout on the 9B service from Cleveleys to the town centre and inevitably Talbot Road Bus Station terminus. Photo : Don Crossley
A focal point for travellers in Blackpool town centre for many years from 1945 was the multi storey car park and ground level bus station completed in 1939. Opened just before the outbreak of ww2 Talbot Road Bus Station became a familiar destination on the screens of many Blackpool bus services right up to the change of use during the 1970s. Serving not only Corporation Transport services but also those of Lytham St Annes, Scout Motors and Ribble Motor Services into and out of the town. The imposing cream and pale green tiled facade included an upper level of decorative tiling recording the transformation of urban transport vehicles culminating with one featuring the then new Burlingham streamlined Titan buses which dominated Blackpool's bus fleet from 1936.
Above : Corporation services had been withdrawn from the Bus Station leaving its stances for the use of National Express and other long distance journeys by other operators. However this too ceased to finally free up the structure for alternative commercial use on the ground level.
Next door to the Bus Station was a further edifice designed and built for the Corporation in the form of St John's Market. Sadly this lapsed in use during the 1960s and was demolished to make way for the inevitable open car park - a format it still retains to the present day. However looming changes and new development of the area to the south of the Bus Station structure is in the process of being radically revitalised as part of the 'Talbot Gateway' improvements.
The covered ground floor of the former Bus Station provided a convenient meeting point as well as a transport hub for local services. The war required the open access on two sides to be enclosed hurriedly with brick walls leaving apertures sufficiently large for vehicle exits on the north facing side (on to Talbot Road) with one awkwardly positioned vehicle entrance off Cookson Street which required strenuous steering wheel turning on the part of drivers. A four sided overhead clock positioned under the first floor provided time reference for passengers and crews alike. Blackpool Corporation Transport maintained a small information office for timetable enquiries and miscellaneous questions whilst bus crews had their own canteen well hidden from public view. Public conveniences were installed below the ground level of the bus station with a neat canopied entrance off Talbot Road - the tiled canopy feature (but not the conveniences) is still in evidence.