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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 15:13 GMT
Students protest over lighting
Pantycelyn halls of residence, Aberystwyth
Students say the lighting at Pantycelyn is poor
More than 50 students are to march through Aberystwyth to draw attention to poor street lighting in the town and on campus.

It will be the second time this year that the university's Guild of Students has protested about this issue.

In March, it took part in a UK-wide campaign, but the union says the situation has not improved.

The university said a lighting survey of the campus would take place later this month.

Meanwhile, Ceredigion County Council explained that it had spent 100,000 in recent years on street lighting in the town, which is home to about 8,000 students.

President of the Guild of Students, Bethan Jenkins, said a petition about the problem had been started and would be sent to Ceredigion Council.

She said: "In March, we tried to improve lighting in the town and on campus as part of a National Union of Students' campaign.

It's not just the town, the university's campus needs improving too
Bethan Jenkins

"There's been no response on the matter so this is an independent guild of students' protest.

"There are side streets that are poorly lit and areas by the town's castle too.

"North Road is bad as well and by a taxi rank in Alexandra Road where students gather after an evening out to go home."

Miss Jenkins did not have statistics to support her claim, but she said many students over an academic year complained to the guild about poor lighting.

"It's not just the town, the university's campus needs improving too," she added.

"Pantycelyn needs to be improved and Pentre Jane Morgan which is a large area.

"We've even had students who are afraid to go to the library at night because they have to walk over a bridge which isn't lit.

The students have appealed to the university and the county council

"And it's not just women who are scared there's men too who complain, although the women's officer is organising the march."

A spokesman for the university said it welcomed comments from students about how lighting could be improved and was planning a "walkabout" at the end of November.

"The university will undertake a survey of campus lighting and security which will involve a walkabout by a group comprising of the pro-vice-chancellor, representatives of the students' union, the university's health and safety officer and members of staff from the estate office.

"The walkabout will identify areas which need improved lighting or where trees have obscured lighting and need cutting back."

Ceredigion County Council's portfolio holder for highways, Councillor Keith Evans, said Network Rail was not responsible for lighting at Alexandra Road taxi rank.

He added that the council had been in touch with the company and it was looking into the issue.

Cllr Evans also said that the council had spent 100,000 on streeting lighting in Aberystwyth in recent years in Queen's Street, Queen's Road and North Road.


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