Students and councillors join forces for better lighting
Cambridge students have joined forces with councillors to improve safety for residents crossing the city’s Parker’s Piece.
Their joint working has led to a new lighting scheme being considered by Cambridge City Council.
The project has been proposed by Executive Councillor for Community Safety, Tim Bick after he was contacted by student Lib Dems and the student unions at Cambridge University and Anglia Ruskin who were worried about the lack of lighting on paths which cross Parker’s Piece.
Anglia Ruskin Students’ Union President, Gerald Carew commented: "We are pleased to see that the City Council has acted upon recent safety concerns and student demand for lighting on parker’s piece. We hope that this will make walking home at night safer for students and members of the public, and that we will be able to collaborate with the council on similar projects in the future."
Cllr Bick told the Area Committee: "All the students argued strongly for better lighting in parts of the city which were greatly used by students. And they told me that Parker’s Piece was right at the top of their list. As this is an area of the city for which the city council is responsible, this is something we can and should look at.
"I am certainly aware of the students' 'Right to Light' campaign. As a student town I think it is something we should pay attention to - and in fact many longer term residents would agree.
“It must be said that Parker's Piece is not a den of crime, but there was an attack there before Christmas and it is an easy place for people escaping the police to disappear into. There is such a high level of foot and cycle traffic across there that the same logic as for lighting up streets should apply, even if we need to be more subtle about how we do it.
"There are some constraints we will need to observe. Football-style floodlights would clearly destroy the character of Parker’s Piece as a natural space and it would waste a good deal of energy. And more lamp posts will be inconsistent with its use as a school playing field and for major community events.
“I am hoping we can arrive at a scheme of lights actually set into the paths themselves which would cast an ambient light and might be powered by renewable energy."
The committee asked for more work to be done on the scheme and council officers will report back within the next few months.
The area committee agenda item can be consulted through this link: http://www.cambridge.gov.uk/democracy/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=9151 (see pages 4-6).
CONTACTS: Tim Bick – 07720 413173