Leighton Buzzard train station in the UK has installed two walkways incorporating kinetic floor tiles that use passenger footsteps to power two USB charging benches and a digital data screen offering visitor information.
Kinetic walkway developer Pavegen is working with Central Bedfordshire Council on the project, which aims to engage with visitors to the town and showcase the council’s green credentials.
The project is funded by the Department of Transport through the £22.9 million ADEPT Smart Places Live Labs programme. It is one of eight local authority-led projects aiming to transform local places and highways through innovations in energy, data, materials and mobility. ADEPT is an association of local authority directors of transport, planning, the environment and economic development.
“The untapped footfall energy at our transport hubs represents a real opportunity to provide sustainable energy sources to power bespoke applications, while engaging audiences and encouraging behavioural change,” said Giles Perkins, Live Labs programme director. “This trial will help demonstrate the viability of the technology and could be a step change in the way transport hubs engage with commuters.”
Central Bedfordshire Council, which secured £1.05m for the programme, has also partnered with highway service provider Ringway Jacobs and West Midlands Trains on the project.
“I like the fact that it engages people, involves exercise and it is creating clean electricity all the time,” said Andrew Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire. “I think that connection between people and the energy being created through movement is a really good join-up.”
Pavegen’s technology has been installed more than 200 times across 37 different countries in areas of high footfall, with applications aimed at city development, infrastructure and destinations such as transport hubs, venues and stadiums.