Solar energy firm lights up North Wootton bus shelter

The Priory Lane bus shelter in North Wootton with its newly fitted solar panel.

The Priory Lane bus shelter in North Wootton with its newly fitted solar panel.

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Passenger safety and comfort has been improved at a village bus stop thanks to what could be the area’ssmallest solar panel system.

The well-used bus shelter in Priory Lane, North Wootton, is now lit up in the early mornings and evenings thanks to the power of the sun.

North Wootton Parish Council wanted a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly way to light up the shelter it manages, and approached Magdalen firm The Solar Shed in the hope that a solar panel system could be used.

Kevin Holland, the firm’s managing director, spent some time looking at the proposal and came up with a tiny solar system that powers an LED light strip.

The lights are on a timer so they go off after all the buses have departed so as not to drain the batteries.

In the darker, winter months, Mr Holland will re-visit the site to change the timer so the light comes on 15 minutes before a bus is due to arrive until 10 minutes after it has left.

“This will provide a warm and welcome light to users of the public transport with no ongoing costs to the parish council,” he said.

“Having the light timed this way also discourages people from hanging around.”

Mr Holland said he had received a thank you letter from the council saying councillors were “delighted” with the installation.

He said: “We believe we have now installed Lynn’s smallest public utility solar system.

“Whilst we are responsible for hundreds of domestic solar systems, as well as Lynn’s largest on Optima Stainless on the Hardwick Narrows industrial estate, it’s great to be able offer something totally unique and purpose built for individual situations.

“We believe Lynn will be the greenest town of its size in the UK within a few years and with factories, barns, houses and now bus shelters boasting solar systems, there really is no reason why this can’t be done.”

The system has cost £250 to install, which the parish council says is the equivalent of the cost of just one month’s routine maintenance of its street lights.

Councillor Bridget Nurse said the idea had developed from a villager’s letter asking for lighting to be installed.

She added: “We have had lots of lovely comments from parishioners.”