Many students are annoyed at the lax response from the council. Although the local crime rate is low, students still feel unsafe walking home late at night along the unlit shortcuts to and from campus. Many of the alleys are either poorly lit or completely unlit. Last year, students claimed lighting these pathways should be a top priority for student safety, yet little if anything appears to have been done.
According to a representative of the council, street lighting for Blays Lane to Larksfield was approved by the October Committee in 2007. It is now over 11 months since this issue was raised. So WHY has nothing been done?
The Founder has put this question to local councillor, Marisa Heath. Although the lighting had been approved by the council, it has been delayed because – amazingly – they received complaints from residents who don’t want lights installed in the alleys. The council is obliged to deal with all complaints, no matter how trivial, and so each of these complaints has pushed the lighting back even further.
According to Cllr Heath, the complaints have now been dealt with, and the lighting is due to be installed. However, as of yet no installation dates have been quoted.
In an email to The Founder, Cllr Heath stated: “…just before I received your email, I contacted the Surrey Highways Manager to ask that [the work] be pushed forward on the work agenda as I have made the point that the dark nights are drawing in and students do not feel entirely safe… if [his answer] is not one which I am happy with I will be pushing the issue as I personally want to see lights there for this winter. I am a little annoyed myself that they were not done this September as I thought they were going to be.”
Cllr Heath also urged students to contact the Students Union regarding any areas where students feel there is a need for lighting.