Because her hometown municipality had no money for a new bus stop, a citizen from Saxony came up with a sensational idea. As an alternative, she placed a disused Renault Twingo with a reflective “Waiting zone” sticker at the bus stop of a busy country road between Perba and Praterschütz. At that point there is a 100 km/h speed limit.
Since 2015, when the former dilapidated bus shelter was demolished, her children had had to wait in wind and rain and the early dark hours of the morning for the bus to the primary school, often, in her words, hiding behind trees to take shelter from the vehicles racing by – an unten-able situation. Even a petition for a new shelter submitted to the council did not change the situation. The municipality pointed out that finances were tight and argued that only a few pas-sengers would use the stop. Obviously the Twingo owner´s children and the few other affected people from the Badersen district of Nossen did were of no great concern. Since necessity is the mother of invention, the Twingo became a temporary shelter – and the whole story made the press.
More than just “nice-to-have”
There is much to suggest that the plight of the inventive citizen is not an isolated case. After all, given their strained financial situation, numerous communities are finding it difficult to make investments whose urgency they may not see in the same light as those affected – a delicate decision when it comes to the safety of children and adults. After all, a bus stop shelter not only protects against wind and rain, but also against – regular – serious accidents involving personal injury. It defines the safe place to reside for those waiting and, equipped with reflective ele-ments, they warn drivers of the danger that exists at the spot, especially for children or people with impaired sensory perception. Is not a safe way to and from school a valid criterion for the attractiveness of living in the country? According to the Independent Citizens’ List (UBL), 56 of the 113 bus stops in the municipality of Nossen currently have no bus or train stop shelter.
Was the new Cologne-type bus stop shelter included in this census? WSM became aware of this situation through media coverage and immediately donated a “Cologne” to the municipality. With its glass walls covered with reflective film and autonomous lighting provided by its own photovoltaic module, in future it will ensure safety and comfort in all weather. The Twingo as a sanctuary is now obsolete; it has fulfilled its purpose between Perba and Praterschütz. Perhaps it will soon change its location.