Sunday 16 June 2024
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Over 800 Nottingham bus shelters could be upgraded by 2025

Nottingham City Council has embarked on a project to overhaul its public transport infrastructure by initiating a tender for the supply and maintenance of bus shelters and free-standing units, both with and without advertising concessions.

The Current State and Need for Change

The Council’s existing 25-year contract for street furniture, including 213 advertising bus shelters, 619 non-advertising shelters, and 27 free-standing units in the city centre, will expire on December 31, 2024.

With the incumbent contract nearing its end, the Council has decided against renewal, citing the need for modernisation, particularly the introduction of digital advertising panels, as a key driver.

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Financial Implications and Benefits

This decision is anticipated to unlock significant financial benefits for the city, with an expected income of £6m over a 15-year contract. The current contract arrangement, although cost-neutral, limits the city’s income potential due to its reliance on analogue advertising. The shift to digital is expected to provide a more lucrative and flexible advertising model, aligning with advancements in the Out of out-of-home media industry.

Enhancing Public Transport and Urban Aesthetics

The upgrade is not just financially motivated; the council says it aligns with Nottingham’s vision for a high-quality public transport network. The new shelters are expected to offer safer, more comfortable waiting areas, encouraging public transport usage. Furthermore, the sleek and slimmer design of the new units is aimed at enhancing the city’s aesthetic appeal.

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Consultation and Community Feedback

Extensive consultations have shaped the Council’s approach, emphasising the importance of safety, comfort, and convenience in public transport facilities. Key findings include a preference for better lighting and more seating at bus shelters. The Council plans to integrate these insights into the tender process, ensuring that the new infrastructure meets the community’s needs.

Environmental and Social Considerations

The project also considers the city’s environmental goals. Prospective suppliers are encouraged to propose environmentally friendly solutions, like green roofs and digital advertising, that align with Nottingham’s carbon-neutral ambitions by 2028. Social value, such as supporting local businesses and minimising environmental impact, will also be key tender evaluation criteria.

The Road Ahead

Looking forward, the Council will delegate final project approvals to the Corporate Director for Growth and City Development in consultation with the Finance and Resources Director. This will ensure timely progress while maintaining governance standards. The aim is to have a new supplier in place well ahead of the current contract’s expiration, allowing for a smooth transition.

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