Stamford town councillor wants lights kept on in Barnack Road over safety fears
Town councillor Julie Clarke has called for lights on a 'secluded' Stamford road to be kept on to make late-night pedestrians feel safer.
Coun Clarke wants Stamford Town Council to invest in a scheme to keep street lights on Barnack Road after the current midnight switch-off, with the easing of lockdown set to awaken the town's night-time economy.
Pubs are due to welcome outdoor customers again from April 12.
“No woman should have to walk home by torchlight when they live in the town, no-one should,” Coun Clarke said.
“Barnack Road isn’t in the middle of the country, it’s only five minutes walk from the arts centre.
“Every single light goes off and it’s pitch dark. It’s a long and very secluded road after midnight.
“You have houses on one side and Burghley Park on the other, and it would be very easy to fall victim to someone who could do you harm.
"You could very easily get pulled into Burghley Park.
“What happened to Sarah Everard brought it home to me how dangerous it is to walk back alone."
Local authorities across the country reduced streetlight hours to save money and cut carbon emissions.
Responding to a petition to keep lights on following the murder of Miss Everard, Lincolnshire County Council said lighting had no impact on night-time crime levels.
However, they have invited town, parish and district councils to apply for lights to be converted to all-night lighting for a one-off payment.
The county council said several parishes had expressed an interest, but so far only Pinchbeck Parish Council has invested.
Coun Clarke has asked the town council’s planning committee to discover the cost.
“I want Stamford Town Council to fund what the cost is," she added.
“I don’t think every light needs to be on, I appreciate the need for fiscal prudence, but if every second or even third light could be left on."
Coun Clarke carries a torch if she is out late, and is concerned for the extra pedestrians who will be making the same walk if the major St Martin’s Park development is approved.
“Safety, and particularly women’s safety, is my primary concern," she said.
“I’m not just asking for Barnack Road - if anyone has the same issue anywhere else in the town I would welcome them to get in touch."
Police inspector for Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings, Gary Stewart, said:”There is no evidence that the lack of street lighting increases crime in South Kesteven.
“However, I am always happy to support any initiative that increases public reassurance.”