'Living roof' eco-bus shelters will make Sidmouth a greener town

A bus shelter similar to the ones that will be installed in Sidmouth

A bus shelter similar to the ones that will be installed in Sidmouth - Credit: Contributed

New bus shelters with ‘living’ roofs are to be installed in Sidmouth. 

Work is expected to begin soon on replacing seven dilapidated shelters with new ones that will have their roofs planted with sedum, a succulent plant often used for this purpose. 

The ‘living roof’ shelters will replace two at the Triangle, three on Sidford Road (inbound at Coulsdon Road and Lockyer Lodge, and outbound at Manstone Mead), one at the Beacon Medical Centre on Stowford Rise, and one on the A3052 near the junction with Core Hill Road. All these shelters are made of wood and in a poor state of repair. 

Sidmouth councillor Stuart Hughes, who is also the county council’s cabinet member for highways management, has been working with Fernbank, the company that will be providing the shelters, and liaising with the county council’s transport co-ordination team. 

Stuart Hughes. Ref shs 22 18TI 4996. Picture: Terry Ife

Stuart Hughes, who has been working to introduce the 'living roof' bus shelters - Credit: Archant

He said: “The new sedum bus shelters which are to be installed are constructed of recycled material and the living sedum roof attracts bees and other pollinators when the plants are in flower. 

“These shelters will tick the environmental agenda boxes in not only providing shelter for passengers and encouraging more bus patronage, but also attracting and encouraging pollinators through the living roofs.” 

He said Fernbank had already completed a survey of the existing shelters and ordered the new ones, which have now arrived: “Subject to getting the necessary agreements from highways for road space to remove the old and replace with the new, work should be commencing soon.” 

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Once the shelters are in place, the plant trays on their roofs will be put in separately. Sedum plants are often used for green roofs because they have very shallow roots and do not need much care or maintenance. They store water in their leaves and are resilient to diseases, pests and extreme weather conditions. They also remain green all year round. 

This will be the first phase of introducing ‘living roof’ bus shelters in Sidmouth. There are plans to instal them in other locations, but these have narrower walkways and will need the shelters to be made in a different design.