Victoria Bridge Bus Station - Salford

The image above is shown with the generous permission of Joseph McGarraghy

One of my childhood memories, as a trainspotter and holiday maker who occasionally visited Exchange Station, is of a clutch of green buses congregated in a bus station beside the River Irwell.  Salford's Victoria Bridge Bus Station sat on a plot of land bounded by the Irwell, Victoria Bridge Street, Chapel Street and the approach ramp to Exchange Station.

In the 1840s before Exchange Station existed the site was occupied by the Red Lion Inn and a Woollen Cloth Hall

By the 1880s Exchange Station was in place and the approach ramp, called Cathedral Approach,  now defined the northeastern boundary of the site.  Among the occupants of the site were J. S. Morris & Son's Oil Works and Sutton-Holmes & Co Leather Goods Factory.  There were also shops, a restaurant, stables and a smithy.

At some point these buildings were demolished to make way for the bus station that you can see in the aerial photograph below, shown with the permission of English Heritage.

1.  Exchange Station  2.  Manchester Cathedral   3. Victoria Bridge Bus Station   4.  River Irwell

In this atmospheric photograph taken in 1955 by Joseph McGarraghy, and shown here with his generous permission, you can see the bus station in operation on a snowy day.

I believe that the Victoria Bridge Bus Station closed in the 1970s but was revived once again, on a temporary basis, during the reconstruction of the Shudehill Interchange. 


Today the view shown at the top of this page has changed.  Exchange Station has been gone for a long time.

The bus station became a car park.

However, that changed in 2011 when work began on a new development called the Greengate Embankment.  One stage in this enterprise is the creation of a new Public Realm which in March of 2011, when I took the images below, was beginning to take shape on the site of the old bus station.

The website for the new development says this about it, "Greengate Embankment — a joint development between Ask Developments and Network Rail — is situated along the banks of the River Irwell where the two cities meet, revitalising an area of Salford that is literally a stone's throw away from the retail heart of Manchester city centre. The extensive regeneration of this long-neglected and underused site, which includes Manchester's old Exchange Railway Station, will turn it into a vibrant new residential, retail and business destination right at the core of the city region."