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Workington Bus Station

Britain's first purpose-built covered bus station
Red Wheel Site:
Transport Mode(s):

2 Murray Road, Workington, Cumbria CA14 2AD

CA14 2AD
Visitor Centre:

About Workington Bus Station

Workington Bus Station, the first purpose-built covered bus station in Britain, was opened on 19th March 1926 for Cumberland Motor Services, a business started in 1921 by the Maegeen family. The extensive facility encompassed a cafe, toilets and a waiting room.

The imposing red brick building, designed by local architect H Oldfield, was enhanced by significant electrically-lit signage which emitted a golden colour during daylight hours and red at night. The contractor, Tom Johnston, and the electrical engineers, T & S Bell, were also from Workington.

The bus station was progressively extended. The side entrance/exit on Vulcans Lane can be seen in the third image above. Sadly, the adjacent former Cumberland Motor Services workshop facility has long disappeared and the demolition of the link to the right of the entrance is also evident.

The Art Deco building was opened by the Mayor of Workington, Alderman A Baines. At that time, virtually all extant bus stations were former tram depots, converted for bus use. In his address, the Mayor stressed how important the provision of adequate bus transport was for the economic good of Workington, especially local shopkeepers. He also cited the excellent working conditions for the CMS employees. The ceremony finished with the display of the company’s latest bus, a then state of the art Leyland 'Lion'.

In 1992, after many years of neglect, the building was refurbished and it was officially re-opened on 22 June 1993. Further refurbishment to walkways were carried out in 2009. Workington and District Civic Trust fought a lengthy campaign to have the building listed but the application was turned down on the grounds that the building had too many alterations.

Cumberland Motor Services was sold by British Electric Traction to the National Bus Company in 1967. Ownership passed to Stagecoach in 1987 and is now operated, in combination with the larger Ribble Motor Services, as part of Stagecoach North West.

By road: Off B5297, Oxford Street

By rail: Workington Station is approx 1.5 km away

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