Southampton’s first Living Roof bus shelter, designed to support pollinating insects and enhance local biodiversity, has been unveiled to the public.
The brand-new shelter, installed by council partner Clear Channel, is located a short walk from Southampton Central Station and is the first of eight locations selected by the council to receive a brand-new structure for bus users and Living Roof. In the coming weeks, the upgrades will also be taking place on London Road and Itchen Bridge, along with the remaining shelters on Wyndham Place.
Each shelter is planted with a specially selected mix of native wildflower and sedum – both favourites of pollinating insects. As well as boosting biodiversity and being visually attractive, the ‘Living Roofs’ – nicknamed Bee Bus Stops - provide many additional benefits: absorbing rainwater to help alleviate flooding, provide natural cooling to counteract the effects of ‘urban heat islands’, filtering fine dust from the air, producing oxygen, and providing a natural habitat for animals and insects.
The Living Roofs sit atop brand-new shelters, finished to be in keeping with the city’s existing structures, and built using a range of recycled materials, including seats made from recycled plastic.
As well as installing the new shelters and Living Roofs, Clear Channel will be cleaning and maintaining each for the entirety of their life, all at no cost to the council.
The installation follows in the footsteps of other cities across the UK also installing Living Roof bus stops, such as Glasgow, Cardiff, Oxford, Brighton and Leicester.
Cabinet member for Environment, Councillor Steve Galton, said: “This will be the first of many Living Roofs coming to the city. We continue to deliver a wide range of projects and have had many successes in the past year that work towards helping us achieve our goal of becoming a cleaner, greener city. This is another step towards that goal and we will continue to work with our partners to deliver such environmentally beneficial projects.”
Will Ramage, Clear Channel’s Co-Managing Director, said: “It’s fantastic to see our ‘Bee Bus Stops’ being installed in Southampton. We’re exceptionally proud of our close partnership with Southampton City Council and overjoyed to be playing a part in making the city’s streets even cleaner and greener for residents and visitors alike.
We hope the public love them as much as we do and that they’ll be on every street corner in the near future.”