Council’s advertising plan for Essex bus shelters

Essex County Council (ECC) will be bolstering its income by taking over the running of bus shelters across the county and selling adverts on them.

In 2018/19 there were 43 million bus passenger journeys in Essex and the council is looking to tape into that large potential audience.

And as not all bus shelters belong to and are the responsibility of ECC, it wants to enter into an agreement with the borough, city and district councils who also look after the shelters to approve procurement of a concession contract for the maintenance and supply of bus shelters.

This would cost an estimated value of £10million to £30million over its lifetime.

It is not clear how much advertising may be brought in to the council, which says the police would maximise “opportunities to obtain commercial advertising and sponsorship for events, activities, campaigns, facilities, assets or initiatives”.

But the council has said it will “actively seek opportunities to work with all forms of organisations to identify opportunities for advertising and sponsorship”.

Where a potential opportunity or proposal would result in more than £10,000 of income to the council, ECC may take additional steps to advertise the opportunity.

All advertisements and sponsorship must adhere to the standards laid down by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The council says the policy supports its strategy to achieve more with less.

A cabinet report to be heard next week said: “The council has an ambitious strategy to increase bus usage across the county by one per cent year on year; recognising the important future that sustainable transport has in reducing congestion, carbon and air quality emissions and improving social mobility.

“To support this ambition, the council’s vision is to develop a sustainable and quality bus infrastructure network that provides consistency of experience, is commercially focussed and future proofed.

“The procurement of an Essex-wide bus shelter contract will be key in delivering this vision; by providing an improved bus stop experience for existing and prospective bus passengers and leveraging significant advertising potential to generate income that will support this venture.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter