Essex County Council to revive roadside bus infrastructure across the county | Clear Channel

Essex County Council partners with Clear Channel UK for innovative bus shelter contract

11 Jul 2024 / News
By Clear Channel UK View Author on Twitter
An ad-funded Clear Channel bus shelter in Essex during the day as pedestrians walk by

The new contract will see Clear Channel revive roadside bus infrastructure across the county. 

Bus shelters across Essex are set for a major upgrade as Essex County Council signs a 10-year agreement with Clear Channel following a competitive tender process. This partnership will create a future-ready bus shelter network as the media owner replaces, maintains, upgrades, and installs roadside infrastructure throughout the county.

The council will invest £3 million in year one of the contract to buy new bus shelters from Clear Channel. Commencing in late August 2024, the project will initially focus on shelters where a request has been on hold for several years or managed by a previous supplier. This will be followed by a comprehensive programme to upgrade and expand bus infrastructure across Essex.

Newly replaced bus shelters will incorporate elements such as seating, motion sensor lighting, space for prams and wheelchairs, and timetables. Some will also include digital real-time information screens and advertising panels.

Further information regarding the installation programme is available on the TravelEssex website, where an interactive map shows which shelters are to be replaced and when during the first year of the new contract. This will be updated periodically and in time will include the timetable for future years.

Under the new contract, Clear Channel will oversee the maintenance of the bus shelters as well as manage advertising at select locations agreed upon by the council. The revenue generated from shelter advertising will provide a guaranteed income to the council, which will be invested back into improving the bus infrastructure network.

As part of this arrangement, Essex County Council has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with ten district, borough, and city councils within the county. This collaboration brings the bus shelter estate across these areas together with Essex County Council becoming the owner of most shelters in Essex.

Parish councils, developers and other organisations will also be able to purchase shelters via Essex County Council to help create a consistent bus shelter estate across Essex.

Councillor Tom Cunningham, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Sustainable Transport, said: “This exciting contract will allow Essex County Council to bring much needed new and improved bus shelters and infrastructure. It will also mean using a bus will become easier and more accessible as the existing facilities are upgraded. 

Councillor Tom Cunningham, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Sustainable Transport, said: “This exciting contract will allow Essex County Council to bring much needed new and improved bus shelters and infrastructure. It will also mean using a bus will become easier and more accessible as the existing facilities are upgraded. By harnessing the advertising revenues available, we will also be able to replace council money with commercial funding, future-proofing the service and providing value for money for Essex taxpayers. By creating a better infrastructure and a more welcoming environment for bus users, we hope to see more people using bus services, encouraging sustainable transport choices to support our aim to create a Safer, Greener, Healthier Essex.”

Will Ramage, Managing Director at Clear Channel, said: “This innovative contract marks a significant step forward for Essex’s public transport infrastructure. We’re not only enhancing and modernising the shelter network across Essex, but we’re also demonstrating our commitment to creating sustainable and community-focused advertising solutions. By leveraging our expertise in infrastructure maintenance with innovative advertising opportunities, we want to foster a more inviting and efficient public transport system that encourages sustainable travel choices and supports the council’s vision."