Victory in safety battle to improve lighting under Hartlepool bridge

Improved lighting is to be installed under a bridge to help residents feel safer after campaigning from two councillors.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 2:31 pm

Last month Councillor Gordon Cranney, who represents the Seaton ward on Hartlepool Borough Council, worked with fellow Conservative councillor Angela Falconer to lobby to have lights installed under the railway bridge in Seaton Carew’s Station Lane.

Hartlepool Borough Council (HBC) chiefs have now confirmed that two new lighting columns will be installed, one on either side of the road.

Cllr Cranney said it was important they install the lights to help people feel safer, noting how dark it is under the bridge, and praised residents for their support.

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Councillors Angela Falconer and Gordon Cranney take a light reading from under the Seaton Carew railway bridge earlier this year. Picture by Frank Reid

He said: “Our work as well as the help of the residents speaking out has been a real team effort.

“This effort has now been thankfully paid off by HBC and these lights are finally coming, this will help our residents feel safe in the darker periods.”

Last month the Conservative councillors went out to measure the light under the bridge with a lux meter, and recorded readings as low as 0.07.

Cllr Falconer, Fens and Greatham ward representative, added that Sarah Everard’s murder emphasised the need to help women feel safer, especially in such dark areas.

The improvements have been approved by Hartlepool Borough Council.

She said: “Gordon and I are delighted that HBC and in particular, Tony Hanson, recognised the importance of the extra lighting in the area following the incident with the young girl.”

She also noted they are now looking at the possibility of getting an additional bus stop on the Seaton Lane side of the bridge, to help children feel safer.

Council chiefs said the new lighting will be installed as soon as possible, subject to resources.

A council spokesperson said: “Having been made aware of concerns about lighting levels at this location, we agreed that further investigations were warranted.

“Those investigations are now complete and we feel that there are a number of factors specific to this area, particularly the nature of the street and the gradient of the road as it passes under the bridge, which justify the provision of additional lighting.

“We are, therefore, proposing to install two new lighting columns, one on either side of the road. It is intended to carry out works as soon as is reasonably possible, subject to resources and the availability of equipment.”