Leighton Buzzard train station is to become the UK’s first station to launch a kinetic-tech floor. Paving the way for national rails future, the technology will utilise kinetic energy from commuters’ footsteps.
This first ground-breaking project has been launched by Pavegen and Central Bedfordshire Council and is funded by the Department of Transport.
The project benefits aim to reach far beyond Bedfordshire and are being funded through the £22.9 million ADEPT SMART places Live Labs Programme. It is one of eight local authority led Live Labs aiming to transform local places and highways through piloting innovation across energy, data, materials and mobility.
Seeking to encourage other transport hubs to follow suit, the project will use Leighton Buzzard as an initial platform to showcase Pavegen’s pioneering technology.
Andrew Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire said concerning the project: “I like the fact that it engages people, involves exercise and it is creating clean electricity all the time. I think that connection between people and the energy being created through movement is a really good join up.”
There are now two Pavegen walkways made up of kinetic floor tiles at Leighton Buzzard station. With these walkways, Pavegen will use them to engage the 1.75 million strong community travelling to and from Leighton Buzzard. This is to bring messages to life and raise awareness for sustainability and the organisations’ dedication to it.
Laurence Kemball-Cook, CEO of Pavegen has stated: “Pavegen is very proud to be part of this pilot project. We are excited at the prospect of helping to drive a national rollout to create a greener, more sustainable transport network for the UK.”
Pavegan will also be working alongside Central Bedfordshire Council to demonstrate how digital engagement can help the high street in these challenging times. They will do this using a reward scheme through the supplementary Pavegen App.
Building back better
Central Bedfordshire Council secured £1.05m for its Live Labs programme to support the project. They have partnered with Ringway Jacobs, West Midlands Trains as well technology provider Pavegen, to create the transformative project.
By showcasing the council’s green credentials, the project aims to engage visitors and power two USB charging benches, and a digital data screen. The data screen will show commuters their contribution and can host important messages.
Projects such as Pavegen are so important as we look to level up local areas across the UK and build back greener following the pandemic.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps has said commended the project, stating: “Projects such as Pavegen are so important as we look to level up local areas across the UK and build back greener following the pandemic. Putting your foot to the floor in a car has always been a way of generating power. But now, with this fantastic piece of British technology, you can do it simply by walking along a stretch of pavement and in a green and clean way, too.”