Brighton & Hove’s first plant-topped Living Roof Bus Shelter has been officially ‘opened’ in Palmeira Square today (Wednesday 21 July).
The solar-powered shelter, also known as a ‘Bee Bus Stop’ has a roof planted with a mix of wildflowers and sedum plants, which are rich in nectar and a favourite of bees and other pollinating insects.
As well as helping pollinators, the shelter will also absorb rainwater, support the city’s biodiversity and is powered entirely by solar energy. It’s also fitted with a smart lighting system, which only turns on the courtesy lighting when a passenger is present, further minimising its environmental impact.
All elements of the new shelter are fully recyclable as it has been designed with principles of circular economy. This means at end of life nothing needs to go to landfill.
The shelter has been paid for, installed and will be maintained by Clear Channel UK, who maintain the city’s bus stops and is the first of its kind in the south of England.
Haven for wildlife
Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty was there to help open the new shelter and said: “The new bus shelter doesn’t just look great, it will be a little haven for wildlife. I’d really like to see many more of them around the city.
“We all know that there has been a serious decline in biodiversity and insects. And the green roof on this bus stop is a perfect way to give nature a breathing space. But this is also about humans- pollinating insects are a key part of the food chain with so much of what we eat dependent on pollination.
“The Bee Bus Stop is just another example of how we’re working to improve the city’s biodiversity, climate and air quality year-round.”
Clear Channel’s Managing Director Will Ramage said: “For many years, the country has looked to Brighton & Hove City Council for inspiration on how to become more environmentally sustainable.
“I’m overjoyed to see the first of the Living Roofs taking root in the seaside city, not only for the benefits it will bring to residents and visitors, but also so it can go on to inspire many, many more councils in future.”
“We’d love to see the Living Roofs in every town and city across the UK and Europe, having a tangible and positive effect on our planet.”
The Bee Bus Stop’s installation follows quickly after a petition launched by Brighton & Hove resident Yazmin Muir which asked for Bee Bus Stops in the city after seeing Clear Channel Living Roofs in Utrecht in the Netherlands.
The petition has been signed by almost 50,000 people.
Yazmin said: “I’m so pleased we have a Bee Bus Stop in the city and was blown away by the response to my petition.
“When I first saw one in the Netherlands, I was so impressed how effective and creative it was and I wanted to see more of them where I lived. I think they should be everywhere.
“I love living in Brighton & Hove and the more we can do to support the city’s environment and sustainability the better, and this is another great step.”