For most, using a pedestrian crossing is a simple process. Approach the crossing, press the button, wait for the signal and cross the road. But for people with mobility or visual impairments these crossings can be much more of a challenge and their use can be a cause of real anxiety.

Over 10% of the UK population (approximately 6.5 million) have mobility impairments that could result in an inability to press or even find pedestrian crossing boxes and cross safely.

European Circuits are excited to be working with a really interesting and innovative company called Neatebox. Based in Edinburgh and founded by Guide Dog Mobility Instructor Gavin Neate in 2011, Neatebox focuses on improving the lives of those living with impairments.

One of their products is Button which addresses the issue of inaccessible crossings for a person with a mobility or visual impairment. The free app allows pedestrians to focus on positioning and alignment prior to crossing the street encouraging them to cross the road safely and with more confidence. The aim is to encourage people to walk more and to decrease the anxiety associated with the crossing process whilst at the same time giving them an alternative to a manual button press.

The hardware / PCB assemblies, manufactured by European Circuits, are installed at the crossing and interact with a free app on the user’s mobile phone or smart watch which triggers the crossing and proves alongside Neatebox that there is not only innovation in Scotland but also the manufacturing capability through European Circuits to deliver it.

“The award-winning Neatebox technology is helping to create new opportunities for vulnerable pedestrians.”

Jane Maclennan, Scotland TranServ’s Road Safety Engineer

So how does the product work? Neatebox Founder, Gavin Neate, explains. “It’s really very simple. The person approaches the pedestrian crossing with their phone running our free application, it recognised the crossing and automatically presses the button for them. It’s that simple! We do need to install our patented hardware in the crossing in question but with more and more awareness and people requesting that the crossings they use are upgraded we very much hope that this technology will become as commonplace as crossings themselves. People can request new crossings in the app itself which is called Button by Neatebox and is on both iOS and Android platforms.”

Scotland TranServ were one of the first in the world to recognise this innovative technology and over the past two years have installed Neatebox technology on crossings in West Kilbride, Largs and Locharbriggs outside Dumfries and most recently it has been installed close to ECL HQ on the A82 in Dumbarton. In what will be a first for West Dunbartonshire, the crossing adjacent to Argyll Avenue will include the innovative Neatebox technology.

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Download the Button by Neatebox app by visiting your app store.