For info
 

Eric Reed
Principal Development Engineer
Transportation and Engineering
Eastleigh Borough Council
023 8068 8233

 


From: Pete & Tina Davis
Sent: 27 November 2007 14:41
To: Lindsi Bluemel
Cc: Reed, Eric; Eric Reed; Dilys Gartside; John Heath
Subject: Threat of Switch-off of Common Paths lighting:Lovers Lane

Dear Lindsi,
As discussed yesterday I give below an attempt at a piece you wanted to introduce Lin Hand's "Report" which tries to justify their idea and sets out what was to appear on the public notices. You should have already got a copy of this in a previous email but I will attach it again to this for you and as others will not have seen it. Please feel free to exercise your editorial discretion and lop it about as you think fit.

I have spoken to Lin Hand who seemed almost oblivious to the effects on cyclists. The whole idea has come from police, City Council and University security advisers and the intention is clearly to put people off using these paths altogether after dark. The fact that this is a designated part of the Southampton cycle path infrastructure counted for nothing and the effect of forcing riders into danger from heavy traffic on surrounding busy roads was obviously not considered. Trying to prevent one or two possible attacks a year whilst risking the lives of many more unnecessarily on the roads is an indictment of the process of decision making and consultation that has gone into this. There was no preceding public questionnaire or survey carried out.

Notices have already been put up but only (at Burgess Rd, Salisbury Rd and at the steps up from Chamberlain Rd - although they are not prominently sited) but there should be many more, particularly at other important access points ie Highfield Lane end and Furzedown/Oakhurst Road.
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"URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED TO COMMON PATH LIGHTS SWITCH-OFF

As you will see below The Council, through the Common Management, are proposing to switch off the lights along the length of the Lover's Lane path in the NE corner of the common from 10th December until March 2008 as a 'pilot' scheme for increasing users security. They already intend to remove (the few) lamps along the stretch of gravel footpath behind houses on Burgess Rd where this approach has already "been very successful". But this is an entirely misleading comparison to use to back their contention that simply deterring pedestrians and cyclists from using the path will prevent attacks and muggings after dark. It might well, if no-one uses it but if they do venture along there will be the additional hazards of slipping off the steep edges or colliding with unseen pedestrians to contend with in the darkness!  They seem to have completely overlooked the fact it will not only greatly inconvenience people but more seriously, cyclists will be forced to resort to alternative local very busy roads where they will be exposed to far greater danger than the risk of a rare attack on the path, only two of which has happened on this part in a year. They have, by their own admission, not consulted cyclists or cycling organisations but have since apologised for this. The minimum we have come to expect is notice of such proposals through the Cycle Forum or the Cycling Officer and at least a decent period of consultation, not just two weeks. Lindsi will be requesting that cyclists are represented on the Common Safety and Security group in the future.
Please read their case for this below and if you are concerned to give an opinion please either contact Lin Hand (in charge of Common management)  direct on T: 023 8067 1921 or email : lin.hand@southampton.gov.uk or the Campaign through Lindsi  or come to the next Southampton Cycling Campaign meeting on Monday 10th December to express your views so that we may formulate or response as a body.
It is also important to copy in or contact Dale Bostock or Peter Brunskill about this too as they are very concerned about this as they were not consulted either! You can also contact or write to the Cabinet Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods Councillor Philip Williams (e: councillor.p.williams@southampton.gov.uk) who is responsible for the Open Spaces section which is in charge of the Common Management Unit.
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Thank you

Peter


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