A new network of plant-topped ‘Living Roof’ bus shelters – designed to enhance biodiversity – is springing up across Leicester as part of a major programme to replace and revamp the city’s bus stops.
Leicester City Council has begun a new 10-year contract with leading out-of-home Out of Home advertising and infrastructure company Clear Channel UK to replace and manage the city’s 479 bus shelters.
As part of this new contract, Clear Channel are making a multi-million-pound investment into overhauling every bus shelter in Leicester with eco-friendly alternatives, at no cost to the city council.
Eagle-eyed Leicester residents will have spotted the first of the Living Roofs – affectionally nicknamed ‘Bee Bus Stops’ – appearing over the last few days. Each is planted with a mix of wildflowers and Sedum plants to help enhance local biodiversity, support dwindling populations of bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, and add some extra greenery to the city.
So far, about a dozen of the new living roof shelters have been installed at locations across the city, including Charles Street, London Road, Melton Road, Narborough Road, Uppingham Road ad Bennion Road.
Work to install and plant up all 30 living shelters is due to be complete this summer.
Where feasible, all other new bus shelters in the city will be fitted with solar panels, powering smart lighting, to cut energy use. The self-contained solar technology will make installation of the new shelters quicker and reduce disruption for bus users.
The citywide network of living roof and solar-powered shelters will be a first for any UK city. It is just one of the many steps being taken to help Leicester respond to the climate emergency but cutting the city’s carbon emissions and improving biodiversity.
Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on environment and transportation, said: “It’s great to see the first of Leicester’s new living roof bus shelters appearing across the city. We’ve already had some fantastic feedback from people who are as excited as we are to see this bee and butterfly friendly revamp of bus shelters taking shape."