Commuters wlaking past on a train platform

A green step forward: Train station harvests energy from commuter steps

Leighton Buzzard train station in Bedfordshire has taken sustainability and innovation to the next step.

In collaboration with Central Bedfordshire Council and an innovative walkway developer, the train station has installed new walkways made from kinetic floor tiles which turn your footsteps into electricity have been implemented outside of the station.

Funded by the Department of Transport through the £22.9m Adept Smart Places Live Labs programme.

The walkways look to take advantage of high footfall areas which commuters and future football fans will use as the government continues its roadmap out of lock and relaxation of travel restrictions.

At present, the walkways at Leighton Buzzard train station power two USB charging benches and a digital data screen. Central Bedfordshire Council, which secured £1.05m in funding for the programme, has also partnered with a highway service provider and West Midlands Trains on the project.

Andrew Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire, said: “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.”

Giles Perkins, Live Labs Programme Director, added: “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.

“This trial will help demonstrate the viability of the technology and could be a step change in the way transport hubs engage with commuters.”

Similar kinetic footways have been installed in recent years near Oxford Street in London to power lighting and at the University of Birmingham.

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