Plant-topped bus shelters installed in Halesowen to attract bees and cut carbon

Environmentally friendly bus shelters which can improve air quality, generate their own power and even attract bees have been installed in Halesowen.

Councillor Kath Hartley, Eve O’Connor, Councillor Ian Kettle and behind Mark Purnell at the new shelter
Councillor Kath Hartley, Eve O’Connor, Councillor Ian Kettle and behind Mark Purnell at the new shelter

The plant topped bus shelters are the result of Halesowen in Bloom, Transport for West Midlands and Halesowen Business Improvement District working together to improve the town centre.

The shelters are made from recycled materials and their roofs include plants designed to reduce carbon in the environment as well as filters to catch fine particles and improve air quality.

Wild flowers, which attract bees and other pollinators, will grow from the eaves and roof edges and appear during the Spring, turning the bus stops to buzz stops.

The shelters also have solar panels which will not only generate power for the display screens and lights but also allow people to charge their mobile phones for free while waiting for the bus.

The manufacturer Bus Shelters Ltd develop the new shelters and installed two prototypes in Queensway and they are already proving popular.

If the trial is successful more environmentally friendly stops could be installed as TfWM replaces and renews its 5,000 bus shelters across the region which will help the region's bid to be carbon neutral.

Cllr Kath Hartley, who chairs TfWM’s Transport Delivery Committee, said: “As we face this climate emergency it is important, we look at new ways of improving our environment.

“Not only can it make a difference to the air we breathe but offers real convenience for bus passengers with the offer of free solar-powered phone charging while they wait – a great innovation. I look forward to seeing more of these shelters on our streets in future.”

Cllr Ian Kettle, Dudley Council cabinet member for the WMCA, said: “I’m delighted that Halesowen has been chosen to part of this trial, the green shelters are a welcome addition to the town.

“They are going to be positioned on a busy route so it will be really interesting to see the impact they have on reducing emissions and improving air quality.

Vicky Rogers of Halesowen BID added: “This is a fantastic example of innovative urban greening as well as a contribution to biodiversity, climate resilience, carbon absorption and the reduction of airborne pollutants. The mix of wildflowers and Sedum plants will attract pollinating insects, of which we have sadly seen the numbers decline over the years.

Eve O’Connor, chair of Halesowen in Bloom, said: “We are over the blooming moon for Halesowen to be chosen for the trial of the new sustainable bus shelters provided by TfWM.Halesowen in Bloom champions sustainability and biodiversity and thrilled to be selected for the project, we have renamed the shelters as our Blooming Bee Stops.”

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