Building Name

Lower Mosley Street Bus Station

1928 - 1929
Lower Mosley Street and Great Bridgewater Street
Central, Manchester
GMCA, England
Omnibus Stations Limited
New build
William Thorpe and Son Limited

In the late 19th century, Lower Mosley Street was a busy commercial thoroughfare of offices, shops and restaurants ‑ including Platts, which specialised in 'tripe dinners and suppers'. However, for most 20th century Mancunians, Lower Mosley Street meant buses. From 1928 until its closure in 1973, it was the departure point for long-distance coaches and at holiday times long queues of holiday makers waited patiently to catch coaches to the coast. It was flanked by an adult education centre and by Isherwoods Garages, where motorists could park for 10p a day. Central Station was abandoned in l969, the bus station and the education centre were demolished in 1973, shops and offices disappeared.

MANCHESTER’S NEW MOTOR BUS STATION -  The station is everything that its name suggests, doing for bus passengers what the railway station does for train passengers. It provides convenient inquiry and booking office facilities for example. It provides spacious and comfortable waiting rooms, and also seats on the outside "platforms”. It provides cloakrooms and left luggage offices. Very fully and handsomely too, it provides toilets and sanitary quarters. As the scheme is developed to its full, there will be little kiosks for the sale of newspapers, tobacco, refreshments and such like. No trouble or expense has been spared to make the station efficient and pleasing, for the proprietors, Omnibus Stations Limited, have had the full support and co-operation of the various bus companies which run their services to and from the station. It was a very brilliant idea on their part as has appeared since, to secure as architect Lieutenant-Colonel George Westcott, for he is now none other than the Lord Mayor of Manchester, and he can point with full confidence to the new structure as a practical example of those ideals of city architecture which he has so consistently advocated.

Dignity, neatness and brightness, qualities which the city streets so urgently need, are all exemplified in this simple construction. The facing material is white terra-cotta which can be washed to get rid of smoke deposits. The main building, a single storey structure, relies on good proportion and good grouping for its effect. There are no loose ends and no fussy ornamentations. The windows, metal frame in simple geometrical design, emphasise the quiet efficiency of the whole design. Both facades of the building, the one fronting Lower Mosley-street and the other overlooking the bus yard, have received equal attention. The yard itself is spacious enough to hold fifty buses at once on its concrete surface, and its outlets give on to the two side streets. At the farther side of the yard is a long Aplatform” covered in real railway station style with a sloping slated roof. A clock is a conspicuous feature here and all buses work to its dictation.

The main building of the station - which incidentally occupies the block next to Lower Mosley-street Schools and is opposite Central Station - provides on the street frontage a spacious booking office. The windows have wooden fittings for displaying announcements. All the other features open on to the yard side. There is a very large waiting room, with centre table and seats round the walls, simply fitted out but quite light and cosy, a useful feature being the wood-block flooring. From it open out the left-luggage office counters. A door mid-way between the waiting room and the booking office leads to the upper floor, where there are two very spacious rooms, not yet in occupation. The end section of the building is the block containing the toilet and sanitary conveniences, excellently carried out with white tiled walls, fancy tiled floors and glass roof. The corner of the site is rounded off with an ornamental terra-cotta wall. The bus yard, it may be added, has tall electric standards for illumination at night.

The new omnibus station is a centre both for long-distance and local services. On the one hand it covers an area bounded by Glasgow in the North, Nottingham in the south, Scarborough in the east and Llandudno in the west; while on the other it serves as a depot for the shorter routes between Manchester and Buxton, Hayfield and Macclesfield. It is hardly surprising to learn that the station copes with more than 400 vehicles a day, and that during the busiest times it has the appearance of a railway terminus. From its white portals buses go out regularly to Blackpool, Morecambe, Llandudno, Southport, and Liverpool, to Ambleside and Glasgow, to Bridlington, Scarborough, Hull and Newcastle, to Bradford, Nottingham, Sheffield and Derby.  The station serves a large area and the buses of many companies come to rest within its walls. The list of undertakings using the station makes an imposing procession. There are the Manchester and Oldham Corporations, Lancashire United Tramways Limited, the North-Western Road Car Company Ltd, the Ribble Motor Services Limited, East Yorkshire Motor Services Ltd, West Yorkshire Road Car Company Ltd, the Yorkshire Traction Company Ltd, Yorkshire Woollen District Electric Tramways Ltd, Trent Motor Traction Company Ltd, Barnsley and District Transport Company Ltd and the Northern General Transport Company Ltd. The proprietors of the station are Omnibus Stations Ltd, to whom all the other companies pay station charges. [Manchester City News 27 July 1929]

Reference    Manchester City News 27 July 1929
Reference    Builder 21 December 1928 Page 1041