Grass-topped eco bus shelters come with a hefty price tag

A south Shropshire council is considering spending thousands of pounds to put plants on bus shelter roofs.

Grass topped bus shelter
Grass topped bus shelter

Ludlow Town Council has a policy of installing one new bus shelter each year, but a meeting this week is set to consider proposals to give them plant-topped bug-friendly roofs.

A report to this Wednesday's meeting of the town's representational committee reveals that the price of a green topped bus shelter could be more than £10,000. That's more than double the cost of a traditional bus shelter.

The possibility of retro-fitting plant roofs to other bus shelters could also be explored, at a cost of £6,000 each, the report says.

The so-called living roofs are an idea imported from Utrecht in the Netherlands where there are more than 300 bus shelters with green tops. They are promoted as providing vital sanctuaries for plants and insects, as well as absorbing heat, pollutants, and rain water.

Members at the representational committee will be recommended to agree with plans to install bus shelters at specified locations over the next two years. A bigger, new style bus shelter could be installed in three years' time according to council officers.

A report to the committee by deputy town clerk Kate Adams recommends that councillors go ahead with putting an "Invincible" two-bay bus shelter in Upper Galdeford, opposite CWA Pet Supplies. Next year a site in Sandpits Road, by Whitefriars junction, has been identified.

The councillors will also be asked to agree that the design and supplier of the third bus shelter, to be installed in 2023/2024, will be explored at a later date. Options would be brought to a future meeting of the representational committee.

The 'invincble' bus shelter

Ludlow Town Council installed its first new bus stop in Corve Street in 2019 and a second bus stop was installed in Sheet Road in 2020. The bus shelter installed in 2020 cost £4,195, including its fitting.

This year the cost of an Invincible two bay bus shelter, as previously installed, has risen to £4,445, including delivery and installation.

A new style Brilliance two bay enclosed bus shelter with sedum roof included would cost £10,995, with installation at £825 and a bus stop pole coming in at £345.

A possible site for a new style bus shelter has been earmarked at Sheet Road, by the Charlton Rise junction. This would also involve a transfer of land from Shropshire Council to Ludlow Town Council to provide the necessary space.

The council has also been told that it would be possible to retro fit sedum roofs on its two most recently installed bus shelters, at a cost of £6,095 per shelter.

But it would need further exploration as to whether this could be done to older style bus shelters whose frame may not be sturdy enough to take the extra weight.

Weednesday's meeting will be held on Zoom.

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