Leicester bus shelters to feature green roofs to encourage bees and pollinators, in a UK first

Bus shelters with green roofs – providing more habitats for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects – are to be introduced in the English city of Leicester, in a first for the UK.

Around 30 bus shelters at key locations around the city centre will feature living roofs planted with a mix of wildflowers and Sedum plants to help support local biodiversity and provide more habitats for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.

It is just one of the steps being taken to help Leicester respond to the climate emergency and cut the city’s carbon emissions, and to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Deputy mayor of Leicester City Council, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “The citywide revamp of our bus shelters will bring huge benefits to Leicester. The new, modern shelters will be great for passengers and the mix of solar power and living roofs will be a major step forward for our efforts to become a carbon neutral and climate adapted city over the next ten years. It will be a perfect complement to our work to deliver a new carbon neutral bus station at St Margaret’s.

“By introducing living roofs on city centre bus shelters, we can further extend our growing network of pitstops for pollinators and further green-up our busy streets.”

More than 400 other bus shelters in Leicester City be replaced with new, modern structures that will be built entirely from recyclable materials and feature seating made from recycled plastic. Wherever possible, shelters will be fitted with solar panels and power smart lighting to cut energy costs. 

Work to replace the city’s bus shelters is due to begin next month and is likely to take around two years to complete. Clear Channel will be working with partners to ensure that all material from the old shelters is recycled, upcycled or otherwise avoids landfill.

Greening up the city’s bus shelters is just one of the actions resulting from the first Leicester Climate Emergency Strategy. Launched this month, the new strategy sets out an ambitious vision for how the city needs to change to move towards becoming carbon-neutral and adapting to the effects of global heating by 2030, or sooner.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.

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