Sun to Light Bus Stops at Night

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The sun will keep London's bus stops lit throughout the night thanks a new solar power system being introduced.

Green energy stored in batteries during the day will illuminate timetables and the stops themselves so drivers can spot queuing passengers easily.

Some 1,400 stops will be fitted with the technology every year for the next five years at a cost of £7.9m, Transport for London (TfL) said.

The first of these will be in Ealing, Harrow and Hounslow, in west London.

TfL said the scheme has been made possible thanks to advances in technology.

Research and development manager Ivan Bennett said: "It's immensely satisfying to get leading-edge technology to work in such challenging real-life conditions.

"When we started looking at solar batteries that could cope with the British winter, they tended to be the size of a filing cabinet.

"We've now got a unit that can sit on top of an ordinary British bus stop and provide light all year round."

He said as well as being environmentally friendly, the lighting systems would be cost effective.