New bus shelter unveiled after Northamptonshire man’s year-long campaign

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Thanks to the enthusiasm of a Daventry man and the generous funding of several organisations, a new bus shelter has been installed on the Southbrook estate in Daventry.

Brian Nelson, who is 78-years-old and lives on the estate, has been campaigning for over a year for the installation of a shelter to adorn the bus stop located on the corner of Collingwood Way and Admirals Way in Daventry.

Situated just 30 yards from his home and on a side of the road where none of the bus stops were sheltered, Brian was determined to do everything he could to improve a key resource for the local community.

The bus shelter was installed last week, but Brian, the Mayor of Daventry and representatives from Daventry District Housing (DDH) and the other agencies involved officially unveiled the new facility today (Thursday).

Brian’s campaign started over a year ago when he began knocking on the doors of neighbours, writing letters to generate support and collating the 30 names required for a petition.

After contacting Macemain and Amstad, a Corby-based company that design and install bus shelters, Brian discovered that the cost of a new shelter would be £5503.20.

Following the advice and support of Northamptonshire County Councillor and Daventry District Councillor Alan Hills, who helped Brian access £500 through Northamptonshire County Council’s Empowering Councillors Fund, the campaign soon gathered pace.

Brian successfully delivered several presentations and he was approved for further funding contributions of £2,000 from the Daventry & District Housing Community Chest Panel, £1,000 from Daventry Town Council and £250 from Daventry District Council’s Community Project Funding.

A former employee of Ford Motors, Brian then approached the company for funding and they made a donation of £1,750, which took the fund up to £5,500. Just a few pounds away from the final total required, Brian opted to pay the final £3.20 from his own pocket to ensure that the shelter could be ordered.

Reflecting on his successful campaign, Brian said: “With the bus stop being so well-used by so many local residents of all ages, I was extremely passionate about ensuring that this important improvement was made.

“The bus stop is located on the main route into Daventry and I regularly use the bus to meet up with friends and former colleagues in town. It’s also on the route to Daventry Country Park and the local doctor’s surgery.

“The campaign has been a challenging but extremely rewarding experience. I would encourage people of my age to take on this type of project. You can make a positive difference to your community, funding is available and you can do these things on your own. I’ve met some lovely and really helpful people along the way and I’d like to thank each and every one of them for their help and support. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve all been able to achieve.”

Sarah Sims, DDH Community Development Officer, said: “Brian’s hard work and enthusiasm for this project have been nothing short of inspirational. He has been campaigning actively and resolutely for a year and the launch event is a real celebration of all of his efforts.

“DDH is delighted to have been able to support Brian’s bid to get the bus shelter installed and it’s fantastic that this new facility will benefit many of our tenants.”

A big supporter of Brian’s campaign, Alan Hills, the District Councillor Hill Ward and County Councillor Daventry East Division, said: “The bus shelter will provide cover for everyone using the bus stop, particularly in inclement weather. This is the culmination of local businesses and council’s assisting with the funding, all of which has been well led by local resident Brian Nelson.”

Cllr Steve Tubb from Daventry Town Council, who also advised Brian during his campaign, added: “Brian approached the Town Council for funding and although it wasn’t possible to fund the whole project the Town Council gave him all the support they could in raising further funds, and advice to achieve his aim and get a much needed bus shelter for the community.”