A bright idea is helping bus passengers at Instow with an inventive solar lighting system which has made a once-gloomy shelter into a beacon for public transport. The bus stop at the bottom of Rectory Lane is picturesque in daylight, but proved dark and u

A bright idea is helping bus passengers at Instow with an inventive solar lighting system which has made a once-gloomy shelter into a beacon for public transport.The bus stop at the bottom of Rectory Lane is picturesque in daylight, but proved dark and unnerving for those waiting at night - so residents approached Instow Parish Council for help, which in turn went to local Devon County Councillor Rodney Cann.He provided £1,600 from his county budget to spend on a solar powered lighting system which appears to have solved the problem. "There's no electricity nearby so the parish council came to me and asked if we could fund a light, which I was delighted to do," said Mr Cann."Although it seems remote and is on a busy road, this is quite a well used spot and important to local people."We think this is one of the first - if not the first - solar lit bus stops, certainly in the South West if not in the whole country."The shelter is owned by the parish council and its surrounding floral decoration is provided each year by Instow in Bloom.The new solar panel soaks up energy from the sun and stores it in a battery at the base of its "lamppost." Parish clerk Roger Jacob said he and the council had examined different methods of lighting the shelter."It's now been here for several days and it seems quite effective, plus it's almost maintenance free," he said."It really was very dark back there, people got scared to use the shelter, it became a magnet for vandalism and there had been a great fear of crime among residents who used it regularly."The council and parishioners are very grateful to Cllr Cann and Devon County; without the grant we could not have done it.