01 Oct 2015

Linwood residents will be the first in the city to use a new solar-powered shelter that can charge their mobile devices while waiting for their bus.

Delivered in line with the Suburban Centres Linwood Village Master Plan which highlighted the desire to improve the waiting experience for bus passengers, Christchurch City Council has installed the solar shelter at the bus stop near the corner of Gloucester Street and Stanmore Road.

Christchurch has been trialling a number of solar tables in and around the city, but this is the first solar-powered shelter for bus users. Solar panels installed in the roof of the shelter power the lights and the charge points. The shelter will provide an improved covered waiting space for bus passengers. It is the first publicly-accessible solar-powered shelter in New Zealand and means that even when there are widespread power cuts, people will be able to charge devices such as phones and tablets using their USB cable.

Urban Design and Regeneration Unit Manager Carolyn Ingles says the idea was an initiative from the team who had been instrumental in developing the Master Plan. They were looking to provide Linwood with something that enhanced the streetscape, contributed to revitalising the Village and supported the community's resilience.

"This solar-powered shelter ticks all the boxes and I am excited this innovative amenity is being trialled in Linwood. This shelter tests a new idea – it provides seating, lighting and protection from the elements, all of which improve the bus waiting experience and safety levels, and on top of that the shelter uses renewable energy sources."

Sara Templeton, Chair of the Hagley–Ferrymead Community Board, is excited that this project has come to fruition and pleased that the product has been made locally.

"Working with an award-winning Christchurch company is good for the local economy," Ms Templeton says.

Solar Bright, who specialise in solar power and LED lighting, recently won three awards, including the Supreme award, at the 2015 Champion Canterbury Business Awards.