Ayrshire Hands Free Crossing Technology
Hands-free crossing technology for visually impaired residents now available in North Ayrshire.
14:48 25 October 2020
Neatebox, an app that allows hands-free operation of pedestrian crossings, has been recently launched by North Ayrshire Council, the first UK local council to do so.
The technology was brought to town by Irvine West Councillor Scott Gallacher, who worked closely with visually impaired resident Craig Happell for over two years. The app is designed to remotely press the button for the green man at traffic lights. It automatically detects a crossing on approach and will tell the box to instigate a safe crossing.
Craig explained: “Using pedestrian crossings as a visually impaired person is one of the many difficulties you encounter everyday.
“I discovered the Button app and knew straight away the benefits it would have for people like myself. It would make pedestrian crossings so much easier.
“There are also benefits to those who use wheelchairs, mobility scooters, parents with young children with prams.
“With the coronavirus outbreak still rife, it is another way of reducing risk as there is no need to touch the pedestrian crossing button anymore.
“I hope people in Irvine will download the app and realise the many benefits, and that in the future North Ayrshire Council will take the opportunity to install the app at other pedestrian crossings within the council area.
“I look forward to working with North Ayrshire Council in the future on other projects.”
Gavin Neate, the inventor and designer of the system and the app, said: “Innovation does not occur overnight and it certainly doesn’t occur without people championing and putting the issues it solves on the public agenda.
“Guide dog owner Craig Happell and Councillor Scott Gallacher have been instrumental in bringing Button to Irvine leading to North Ayrshire becoming the first council district in the world to embrace smart hands free pedestrian crossings for disabled and mobility impaired people.
“Button provides a hands free smartphone operated crossing system enabling all members of society to press the crossing control button through a simple interaction with their smartphone.
“For many disabled people this simple interaction has always been challenging. However, under current restrictions, we are all so much more wary of interacting physically with public infrastructure.