Let there be light - new lampposts illuminate blackspot around Hartlepool railway bridge
A previously dark area of Seaton Carew has been illuminated after new street lighting that councillors campaigned for has been switched on.
Councillor Gordon Cranney, who represents Seaton ward on Hartlepool Borough Council, worked with fellow Conservative councillor Angela Falconer to lobby to install lighting under the railway bridge on Station Lane on public safety grounds.
Their calls came after a young female complained that she was followed and verbally harassed by a man in the area last September.
Fens and Greatham ward Cllr Falconer added that Sarah Everard’s murder emphasised the need to help women feel safer, especially in such dark areas.
Two new lighting columns were installed – one on either side of the road – by the council towards the end of last year.
The work was completed and the lights turned on on Monday, January 10.
Cllr Cranney said: “It makes a superb difference. It’s much lighter.
"I was getting messages from residents saying they were scared to go underneath the bridge.”
The area is also by the entrance to Seaton Railway Station.
Cllr Cranney previously took a light reading under the bridge with a lux meter, and recorded levels as low as 0.07.
"That's near enough pitch black,” he said.
He took the reading to council officers who agreed further investigations were warranted.
They concluded that additional lighting was justified because of a number of factors specific to the area, including the nature of the street and the gradient of the road as it passes under the bridge.
Cllr Cranney said the lighting has already been well received by residents.
And although the nights are gradually getting lighter, he added: “At the end of the day they are there to stay so will be there next year throughout all the dark periods, so it is good.”
Cllr Falconer previously 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.”
They are also looking at the possibility of getting an extra bus stop on the Seaton Lane side of the bridge to help children feel safer.