New bus shelters in Devon are taking on a life of their own

New bus shelters in Devon are taking on a life of their own as part of the County Council's Bus Service Improvement Plan and ongoing efforts to tackle the climate emergency.

Around 70 new “living roof” shelters, featuring 16 varieties of low maintenance plants on their roofs, can now be found across the county. The sedum plants flower from March to October, attracting insects and bees while also capturing carbon from traffic.

Shelters in areas where there is no power available will also include solar panels and low energy lighting.

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More living roof shelters will be added over the next year as part of a rolling replacement programme. The project is being funded using Bus Service Improvement Plan funding from the Department for Transport (DfT).

Fernbank Advertising is working with Devon County Council on the new shelters which are designed and made in the UK from recycled materials.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: “These living roof bus shelters are a simple but fantastic idea for the environment. They’re looking lovely now they’re in flower and they will be a great addition to our network to help support insects and reduce carbon emissions. There are plans for more shelters over the next few years, and we also have a rolling replacement programme in place with Fernbank, so they’ll eventually become a common sight across the county. Bus passengers are already helping to address the climate emergency, so I’m sure they’ll appreciate the green credentials of the shelters as well.”

Paul Harrison, Director at Fernbank Advertising, said: “Fernbank Advertising is working alongside Devon County Council to help make Devon greener, healthier and more biodiverse. We're in the process of replacing old bus shelters which have come to the end of their life with an Eco Living Roof bus shelter. The shelters will be maintained at no cost to Devon County Council; all associated costs of maintenance and future upkeep is provided by Fernbank. The sedum roof is set inside the roof and is barely visible but ensures carbon capture, helping to filter out pollutants and improve air quality. Every little bit can help, let’s do our bit and make things greener.”

Devon County Council received Bus Service Improvement Plan funding specifically ring-fenced for bus stop infrastructure improvements including bus shelter installation and electronic real time information signs.

A small amount of funding is available for match-funded projects in communities interested in upgrading their existing infrastructure. Applications of interest must be made through Parish, Town or District councils to devonbus@devon.gov.uk. For more information about Devon's Bus Service Improvement Plan visit https://www.traveldevon.info/bus/bsip/