Scruffy bus shelters condemned
SCRUFFY, down-at-heel bus shelters plastered with posters make the city look like downtown Soweto , according to a St Albans councillor. Many bus shelters are festooned with advertisements for forthcoming attractions at the Alban Arena in the city centre
SCRUFFY, down-at-heel bus shelters plastered with posters make the city look like "downtown Soweto", according to a St Albans councillor.
Many bus shelters are festooned with advertisements for forthcoming attractions at the Alban Arena in the city centre which is run by Leisure Connection on behalf of the council.
Cllr Tom Clegg said: "I am very concerned about the dilapidated rusty state of our bus shelters. Also, the way the posters are displayed looks more like fly-posting than advertising of local events. We are trying to encourage visitors to use our public transport and visit our historic city."
The ones he particularly objects to adorn the main arterial roads heading into the city like two at Hatfield Road, one at London Road, one at Chiswell Green, one at Drakes Drive and one at House Lane.
All are owned by St Albans District Council (SADC) apart from the one at Chiswell Green which is owned by St Stephen Parish Council.
But it appears that despite the proliferation of posters on the council-owned shelters, Leisure Connection do not have permission to use the shelters with complete impunity.
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The question of Leisure Connection using the shelters for advertising is now to be investigated.
A spokesperson for SADC said: "They may have limited rights for promotional material on our shelters but their advertising manager has been a bit exuberant. Leisure Connection do not make any contribution towards maintenance. "
The majority of shelters in the city of St Albans are provided by Clearchannel (formerly known as Adshel) which uses them for advertising so they can recover their costs.
The district council is currently in negotiation with Clearchannel to extend the numbers and replace the older shelters, some of which remain the responsibility of the district council within the city boundaries or the parish councils elsewhere.
The spokesperson added: "Until the negotiations with Clearchannel are concluded it will not be sensible to invest resources in doing up these shelters. Nevertheless, if external funding is not forthcoming, the district council will undertake whatever work is necessary. "
He said that one of the advantages of the agreement with Clearchannel was that the new shelters were pre-wired to accept information about the arrival of the next bus and other information which was of great benefit to residents and people using public transport.