Nexus has harnessed solar power to illuminate bus shelters with a source of renewable energy.
Nexus, the public body that manages local bus infrastructure, including stops and interchanges, has invested £250,000 in solar powered lighting at its bus shelters to reduce electricity costs and cut carbon emissions.
There are 140 bus shelters in the Tyne and Wear area that are now powered using solar panels.
The latest stop on the local bus network to get the solar powered lighting is in Sunderland, on Silksworth Road.
The solar panels charge up a battery that powers the lights, which are activated by motion sensors when passengers arrive to wait for the bus. On full power the lights only use seven watts of electricity when activated.
Director of Customer Services for Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “Solar energy is a cleaner and altogether more efficient way of lighting up bus shelters at night.
“The solar panels allow us to make savings on electricity costs and lower our carbon footprint, which is better for the environment.
“Improved lighting is vital for helping the public to feel more confident about travelling in the evenings. It is something that passengers told us they wanted in our bus strategy consultation.
“The installation of the solar powered lighting at bus shelters in an ongoing project. It is a scheme that has a lot of benefits in the long term and we are keen to see more bus shelters upgraded in this way in the coming years.”
Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for City Services, Councillor James Blackburn, said: “This is another welcome development in the partnership approach here in Sunderland and across the region to further reduce carbon emissions and create a more sustainable future.
“We hope to see many more of these bus shelters with solar powered lighting in our city, and I’m sure they’ll be very popular with passengers.”
Nexus manages at total of 2,100 bus shelters across four districts of Tyne and Wear – Gateshead, Sunderland, South Tyneside and North Tyneside. Bus shelters in Newcastle and some other town and city centre are managed by a private company under a contract with Newcastle City Council.