A CALL for action has been made in a bid to provide Accrington with a bus station for the 21st century.
When a newly-formed Bus Forum met last Friday, the facilities at the station in Peel Street came in for strong criticism.
Mrs Cathleen Thom said: "It is the most laughable bus station in Europe. Even some Third World countries have better bus stations than the one we have.''
Transport historian Mr Robert Kenyon pointed to the fact that the bus stations in Burnley and Chorley had both been recently upgraded.
The operations director of Lancashire United, Mr Russell Revell, said the layout of the bus station caused him some concerns on the grounds of health and safety.
Ian Pilkington, from Pilkington's Coaches, said problems arose from the fact that the station had been cut in half. This meant that as soon as one bus left another had to move into its place.
He added: "There are also difficulties with cars parking on Peel Street. We have complained to the traffic wardens about this but they have not done much about the situation because they say it is a main road.''
The meeting also heard that Peel Street at its junction with Infant Street was considered to be a hazardous place to cross for both mums with prams and pensioners, because buses were always parked there.
Hyndburn Council's Technical Manager Mr John Schofield, said: "We have had a lot of correspondence about this point. The police have done some enforcement to move buses on but perhaps they could do a little more.''
Mr Schofield said that he accepted the criticisms of the bus station.
He said: "The situation is that for a long time there has been pressure on the use of the town centre. Although money has been set aside for a new station, a plan for the redevelopment of the town was first put forward 10 years ago. As it happens this is only now on its way to completion.''
He said that at the moment consultants were carrying out a survey of traffic flows in the town centre. This would shortly be completed and could identify a new location for a bus station.
Councillor Tony Dobson said it would be inadvisable to spend a large amount of money before the findings of the survey were known.
He added: "Perhaps with the use of a bit of technical expertise, a place for a new bus station will be found.''