‘Mouth of hell’ to be demolished

Published: Saturday 14th March 2015 by The News Editor

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A bus station described as “the mouth of hell” by broadcaster Kevin McCloud is to be demolished tomorrow.

Greyfriars bus station in Northampton is an example of brutalist architecture, and was described in the Lonely Planet guide as “infamously ugly”.

In 2005, it came third in a list of 12 buildings that should be demolished, voted for by the public for Channel 4 series Demolition.

The Northampton Chronicle and Echo described how the building faced criticism soon after its opening in 1976, and a year later mineral stalactites began forming inside the building. There were also concerns for the safety of it after two people died when they were hit by buses inside the station in the 2000s.

A new bus station opened last year, but it got off to a bad start when police were called in to direct traffic after queues of buses formed.

David Macintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “It’s funny because in the last couple of months, people have said ‘We will miss it.’

“It’s not very well-liked, and is now redundant. ‘The mouth of hell’ sums it up perfectly.”

Northampton Borough Council is live-streaming the demolition of the building, and urged spectators to watch it online rather than in person.

The three-storey building, which includes a car park and offices which have not been used for years, will be reduced to rubble tomorrow by demolition specialist DSM.

The four-acre site takes up a large part of the town centre, and the council has set up an exclusion zone – and is evacuating 414 nearby homes as a precaution.

The council said the structure is costing taxpayers £500,000 in repairs every year, and it would take almost £30 million to renovate. Its demolition is part of Northampton’s regeneration programme.

Alan Carr, who spent some of his childhood in Northampton, wrote on Twitter: “Is that smelly cafe still there in the basement in Greyfriars bus station? You’d see people dry heaving before they got on their buses.”

Published: Saturday 14th March 2015 by The News Editor

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