A convenience, but for whom?


Most of us regard a bus station as a convenience for passengers, offering covered waiting areas, maybe shops and public conveniences, and connecting bus services to near and distant destinations. Yet in his introduction to this colour album of 117 bus stations across England, Wales and Scotland from the 1950s to mid-1980s, Kevin McCormack points out that many were established in the 1930s for a different reason: to rid councils of the problem they saw of street stands congesting the centres of towns and cities. The implication is that any benefit to passengers was secondary and that the bus station could be tucked out of the way.

The pictures he has selected — arranged alphabetically from Abergavenny to Yeovil, most from the Online Transport Archive — cover the good, bad and ugly of British bus stations.

Abergavenny is a case in point. It is a rainswept view from the late-1960s of buses with steamed-up windows parked in nose-in bays without any covered shelters. Two of the buses are Red & White rear-entrance Bristol Lodekkas; to board them, passengers had to walk around 20ft along the vehicle manoeuvring area. A toilet block is just in view.

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