Leicester City Council’s ambition to be carbon neutral and climate-adapted by 2030 has paved the way for installation of the UK’s largest network of bus stops topped off with living roofs.
The initiative, delivered in conjunction with out-of-home advertising and infrastructure company Clear Channel UK and award-winning British living roof supplier, Wallbarn, has seen 30 new ‘green’ bus stops installed on city centre thoroughfares: Humberstone Gate and Charles Street.
Affectionally nicknamed ‘bee bus stops’, the shelters deliver a boost to biodiversity and demonstrate how local authorities can take the lead in retro greening urban landscapes. The project has been named a finalist in the Edie Sustainability Leaders Awards.
Deputy City Mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, environment and transportation lead, said:
“It’s great to see the first of Leicester’s new living roof bus shelters appearing across the city. We’ve had fantastic feedback from people who are as excited as we are to see this bee and butterfly friendly revamp of bus shelters taking shape.”
Finding the right living roof partner was essential for Clear Channel, which selected Wallbarn and its award-winning British-grown M-Tray modular green roof system, which is designed with all elements of a traditional green roof contained within fully established pre-planted trays.
The bus stops are planted with a blend of 18 different species of wildflowers, offering all year green with a carpet of flowers in summer.
Wallbarn Director Julian Thurbin said:
“This is an absolutely fantastic project, providing the city with a ‘bee superhighway’ and all the many recognised benefits of living roofs. It’s showcased how adaptable the modular system is and what can be achieved by uniting street furniture and green roofs.”
Clear Channel’s Managing Director Will Ramage said:
“The out of home sector is uniquely positioned to help cities around the UK tackle some of the biggest environmental challenges they face. That’s why we continue to challenge ourselves to come up with unique, inventive ways to make our street furniture green.”
“Our Living Roof Product was first introduced in the Netherlands, and we were excited to bring this green technology to the streets of the UK. Finding the right partner was essential in making this a reality, and we look forward to building on our partnership with Wallbarn by rolling out even more Living Roofs to UK streets. We could not be happier to be working with such a forward-thinking and award-winning company,” added Will.
Green roofs have many benefits, including aiding biodiversity and creating habitats for flora and fauna (most notably pollinators; a study of green roofs in London recorded more than 20 species of bee foraging on them), managing stormwater run-off, improving air quality, reducing the urban heat island effect, sound and thermal insulation, extending the lifespan of waterproofing membranes and even boosting the mental well-being of those looking out on to them.