Friday 22 February 2013

St Pancras to St Margaret [2]

As usual, it's easy when you know how!
Once upon a time Leicester had three railway stations; Central (left), Belgrave Road (top right) and London Road (bottom right). Of these, only London Road remains but now called simply "Leicester". A fourth terminus, West Bridge closed in 1928.

Midland Red built its main bus station just outside one of its garages opposite St Margaret's church.
Interstingly (?) this later picture (below) had the buses running from East to West whereas the old shot (above) shows vehicles running from West to East. A quirk for a Leicester expert to resolve!
For its day, St Margarets was the height of opulence! It was replaced in 1985 by a new facility provided, not by the bus company, but by Leicester City Council. In the true spirit of transport integration it is just about as far as you could get from the railway whilst remaining, nominally, in the City centre.
So, imagine an elderly, somewhat arthritic and certainly overweight pensioner arriving by train and seeking to go forward to, say Groby, by bus. See "St Pancras to St Margaret [1]" (read again). This old crusty has been told to take the bus from St Margarets and, after a tiring journey is disinclined to walk. In any case, for the purposes of this blog, he doesn't know the way.

Try the Station enquiry office. Is there one?
It turns out that this unlabelled room is the booking office and presumably the only source of human information. There was the inevitable queue, but whilst waiting, fbb espied a Plusbus display. Bingo!

There was a plan of the station showing stops RS1, RS2, RS3 and RS4 ...
... which was both helpful and encouraging. And there was a list showing (hooray hooray) ...
... buses to St Margarets bus station. It gets better all the time.

Leicester Station has recently had a major facelift and the old dark and dismal "carriage road" has been turned into a bright and respectable entrance and exit with adjacent taxi and drop of and pick up point. It is quite splendid. Here are some Leicester glitterati showing us all just how wonderful it is.
So, according to Plusbus's little map, it is just a question of leaving the building; crossing the road onto that triangle of pedestrian peace and there we should find stop RS4.
Unfortunately the Plusbus map people have never been to Leicester; thus the diagram is wrong and shows the bus stop in the wrong place and on the wrong bit of the road junction. Never mind, they have tried; or maybe they are trying! But at least we can check if it really is labelled RS4.

So fbb went to have a look. Bet you can't guess what he found?

 Next Bus Blog : Saturday 23rd February 


  1. The old Midland Red bus station had a central 'concourse' (probably too grand a word)with stands either side, on which buses loaded facing towards the centre. Both the central building and the stands on the far side are visible to the right of the lower picture.

    1. It was rather early this morning when I posted the above comment (long before 0844). To further clarify, one half of St Margaret's Bus Station always had east-facing stands and the other half was always west-facing, so the pictures above are of different sides of the bus station.

  2. Thanks, anonymous. In the lower and newer picture I can now see the side of a bus facing inwards to the central block. I have only been to the old St Margarets once, and then probably 50 years ago. Oh dear, the memory isn't what it was!