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Derby City Council: Bee bus stops

Living Roofs contribute towards climate resistance, through absorbing rainwater falling on the roof, helping to reduce the ‘Urban Heat Island Effect’, capturing particulates from the air, and helping make the city a greener and happier place. The roofs are made from a mix of 13 native wildflower and 5 sedum species; selected by experts to aid and support bees and other pollinators.

The challenge

The development of urban areas has led to a reduction in pollinators, which has an impact on many plant species, seeing them decline or even disappear along with the organisms that directly or indirectly depend on them. The decline in numbers and diversity of pollinator populations could in the long-term affect food security, due to potential losses in agricultural yields.

Urban areas also need to be adapted to make them more climate resistant, helping to reduce the ‘Urban Heat Island Effect’, ensuring that these urban areas can deal with increases in temperature.

The solution

Derby City Council have procured Clear Channel, to deliver Living Roofs to its streets, helping to save wildlife in the city, and bring people closer to nature. The Living Roofs have been carefully assessed for their biodiversity credentials by The Wildlife Trusts and classified as having “High Strategic Significance”. 

Derby City Council already had a strong working relationship with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust to support our Green City ambitions and to secure a wilder, greener city for all those who live and visit Derby. The rewilding of Allestree Park is central to this, as is our new nature reserve Derwent Meadows. The Council and Wildlife Trust have some great plans in motion to make Derby even wilder, and each will help to connect green spaces across the whole city, and help the Council meet its carbon goal. 

The new shelters are made from as many recycled and upcycled materials as possible, and specially designed in a manner so that they have as long of an on-street life as possible. When the shelters do reach end of life, they are 100 per cent recyclable. The new digital screens are 50 per cent more energy efficient than current models and powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity. The estate will be maintained by a fleet of 100 per cent electric vehicles. Clear Channel will be offsetting residual emissions created by the contract, using certified offsets that follow the ‘Oxford Offsetting Principles’.

The impact

On top of the new shelters, and environmental benefits the bus shelters will bring, the Council will receive a guaranteed income each year. The Council will also receive a technology fund to directly invest in the latest technologies within the shelters. As part of the agreement the Council will also be able to use the digital advertising screens to promote key Council messages to the people of Derby at no charge.

The brand-new digital estate will provide a range of new and exciting advertising opportunities for local businesses. Clear Channel will be launching the Derby Business Development Rate card, from the 1 April, offering discounts for local SMEs.

How is the new approach being sustained?

Fund for funding to enable us to do this once the research has been completed.

The Council’s previous street furniture and advertising contract came to an end on the 31 March 2022; therefore, a full procurement exercise was carried out to find the best supplier for the new contract to start on the 1 April 2022. The contract includes supplying all the hardware (the bus shelters and advertising displays), along with installation and maintenance for the length of the contract. At the end of the contract the supplier removes the hardware at their own expense. All costs are covered by the supplier, from the revenue they generate via the digital advertising screens.

Lessons learned

Whilst a project group was established at the start of the process, other work commitments and priorities mean that you need one person focused on the project to keep pushing it forward. These things always take longer than you think and you need someone constantly pushing it through! Battles within internal services will take place so make sure you have the details and conviction to try and collaborate with other services such as Highways and Regeneration. Also make sure you develop an excellent open working relationship with the contractor (in our case Clear Channel) as there are always going to be issues and you need to be able to look at them together and come up with solutions which suit both parties. Luckily we did have this in Derby and it is one of the main reasons even with Covid, the Ukraine War and the supply chain crisis we are still on track.


Lucy Wigley, Derby City Council: [email protected]