Poor lighting in Aberystwyth to be addressed

THE ISSUE of poor lighting around Aberystwyth is being addressed, after the results of a survey conducted last year were published. The survey, which ran from January to April 2013, questioned students on their routes home in an attempt to find out how well lit these routes are and how safe students felt walking home at night.

A motion was submitted to the December 2012 Students’ Assembly, composed of student representatives from across the Halls of Residences, Community and different societies and clubs, calling for the Union to investigate lighting and safety issues. A key point arising from the motion was that references to an alleyway known as ‘rape alley’ were found to refer to at least five different alleyways, making the research into lighting and safety particularly important.

Common Routes

Most commonly used routes home, according to the survey results.

The Students’ Union Welfare Officer, Laura Dickens, spoke of the efforts made to tackle these issues, saying:

“We hope that the research can bring together the Students’ Union, University, Police, Politicians and County Council and all other interested parties like the newly opened Mid Wales Rape Crisis Centre to work together to ensure that there is adequate lighting on routes and that safety issues are addressed for the benefit of students and the wider community. We hope to campaign more on safety issues for 2013-14 Academic Year and reinstate the annual Students’ Union ‘Walk Home with a Friend’ campaign, focused on student safety at night. ”

“It is our intention to carry out a follow-up research report, running from January 2014-April 2014 to see whether improvements have been made, and students feel more assured and safe in the routes that they are taking.”

The survey addressing these issues is currently open to students, with the aim of further tackling safety issues around campus. A link to the survey can be found here.

Student responses to last year’s survey were numerous and included some very useful points. More lighting has already been installed between Pantycelyn and the Visualisation Centre, and site security went on a walk of Llanbadarn campus after dark with members of the School of Management and Business in order to point out areas which need addressing. The accommodation office has also spoken to the developers at PJM with a view to installing improved lighting.

Student responses included:

“There is a great need for more lighting along the road from the Hugh Owen Building past the Visualisation Centre, and also the Hugh Owen Building near the International Politics Building. This needs to be made a priority especially considering many students use these pathways after dark, especially after Union events.”

“In PJM, there is a path that cuts between the bridge and the exit to the road that I frequently have to use, this has NO LIGHTING and is very frightening at night! This NEEDS to be sorted ASAP as students use this path a lot.”

“Any form of street lights along this path [to Llanbadarn]. There is currently nothing and especially in the winter the path gets slippy and it’s a very steep path.”

“Street lighting needs to be kept on so that people feel safe walking home and areas where there is sparse lighting needs to be improved.”

“The paving should be addressed. In some areas it is so old that many paving stones are missing, unstable, broken or dangerously uneven. In some places there is no paving at all and mud encroaches on the path making is dangerous.”

“Increased security patrols, be it by police or campus security. I have been attacked a couple of times by drunk people with no one around as witnesses or to be involved to break up disputes.”