People power in action as Telford’s new pavement harnesses energy from footsteps

Residents and visitors to Telford will never need to worry about their phone running out of battery again, thanks to two free public charging points installed near Telford station, sustainably powered… by people’s footsteps!

People power in action as Telford’s new pavement harnesses energy from footsteps

Telford & Wrekin Council has installed a stretch of pavement beside the ‘Silver Swallow’ footbridge on the walkway from Telford railway station into town, which harnesses the energy of pedestrians’ footsteps.

The energy is converted into electricity which the council is using to power two free mobile phone charging points located in newly installed benches beside the pavement.

The council has also installed a solar-powered digital screen which displays sustainability messages and shows the amount of energy being generated by the pavement.

The pavement has been supplied by technology firm, Pavegen, who have launched similar projects around the globe, from Milan to Hong Kong and Dubai.

Laurence Kemball-Cook, CEO and Founder of Pavegen, said:

"Pavegen is committed to creating smarter cities that focus on people, as well as technology. This installation with Telford is a great step towards making a key UK transport hub smarter and greener, whilst educating and engaging citizens with Telford’s commitment to building a better planet.

“We have been developing this technology to allow it to withstand the harshest winters and are excited for the people of Telford to try out generating energy from themselves!”

Cllr Carolyn Healy, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for climate change, green spaces, natural and historic environment and cultural services, said:

“We appreciate there's a lot going on in people’s lives right now, but it would be a huge step backwards if climate action drops off the radar - that's why awareness projects like this are so valuable.

“This pavement is a fun way to keep the climate conversation going and nudge people to consider how they can help make our borough become more sustainable.

“We’d like people to take away the idea: ‘If my footsteps can generate electricity, just think what else I can do!’.

“It’s also about letting people know what we’re doing as a council to fight climate change, which we hope will inspire them to make sustainable changes in their own lives.

“Children are loving walking, running and jumping on the new pavement and seeing how much energy they’ve generated. We hope this project reinforces their sense that their actions, quite literally, have the power to change the world.”

The project has been funded by Telford & Wrekin Council as part of its £4m ‘On Your Side’ investment package into fighting climate change. This package is enabling a number of sustainability projects across the borough, including energy efficiency retro-fit work to council properties, the installation of solar-powered street lights and purchase of electric vehicles.

The council was independently ranked in the top 3% of local authorities for climate action planning in January and latest figures show that it has reduced its operational carbon emissions by 57% since 2019.