Petition for Brighton ‘bee bus stops’ signed by more than 40,000: “It’s gone absolutely crazy”
More than 40,000 residents have signed a petition calling for Brighton’s bus stops to be transformed into wildflower gardens.
Yazmin Muir, who started the petition, was inspired by a project in Holland – which saw Utrecht Council collaborate with advertising agency Clear Channel to turn 316 public transport stops into ‘bee bus stops’.
Plants were added to the bus shelter roofs to attract bees, while also absorbing carbon and improving air quality.
In April 2020, Cardiff Council followed suit – introducing more than 10 bee bus stops under the same scheme.
Yazmin is calling for some of Brighton and Hove’s 150 bus stops – which are currently ‘plastic eyesores peppering our streets’ – to be transformed too.
She said in the petition: “In the face of the climate crisis, Brighton has a great opportunity to set an example for other UK councils by introducing the Bee Bus Stop project within our communities and take a step towards an even greener city.”
The 27-year-old chef from Brighton, who has a five-year-old son, Rory, said she was inspired to take action after attending a recent protest and watching a TV series about Greta Thunberg.
“I was sitting there thinking, what can I do?” she said.
She resolved to put her ‘little idea’ out there and launch the petition.
“At the end of the day, it’s got to be little people like me who are trying to make people more aware,” she said.
“I wish we would look after our planet a bit more and have better ideas of how to live sustainably.
“We’re just killing off the planet.
“The way that I see it, just because people can’t physically see it right in front of us, it doesn’t mean it’s not happening, and I think that’s why a lot of people are not concerned.”
She was not expecting so many people to get behind the petition.
“It’s gone absolutely crazy, it’s not stopped,” she said.
“I’m absolutely overwhelmed, it’s made me feel very happy to see people are supporting my idea.”
The company behind the scheme, Clear Channel, has already initiated one project in Brighton – adding a ‘living roof’ to a bus shelter in Marine Parade.
A variety of Sedum plants – which are well known for enhancing air quality, promoting biodiversity and thriving well in shallow soil – were planted in an upcycled plastic bottle, all of which were recovered from the nearby beach, and placed on the roof of the bus stop – see more here.
Yazmin said she had already been in touch with the company over her petition.
Chris Mclelland, Clear Channel Portfolio Partnerships Manager, said: “We’re overwhelmed to see that over 40,000 people have signed Yazmin’s the petition to get Bee Bus Stops installed in the city and share our passion and drive for encouraging biodiversity in urban areas.
“As an organisation we’re truly committed to improving the many communities and environments that we’re present in, so to hear such loud and clear support, from so many people, is greatly appreciated.
“I’m glad to say that we’re already in discussions with Brighton and Hove council about installing and maintaining Living Roofs in suitable locations in the near future.
“Fingers crossed we can get the green light, and I’d be delighted to invite Yazmin to the opening of the first one.”
A council spokesperson said: “We already have one earlier example of a Living Roof bus shelter in the city.
“We are reviewing locations for the installation of a new model Living Roof shelter that is made from recycled materials, supporting biodiversity.
“For the future, we are looking at replacing a few older shelters with Living Roof shelters throughout the city.
“The cost for the first shelter, which would also be the first of its kind in the south, will be covered by Clear Channel UK Ltd.”
You can view and sign the petition here.