PEOPLE are urging Bridgend Council to install lighting along a popular walking route amid fears it is currently unsafe.
Residents want the council to introduce lights along Newbridge Fields, Bridgend, claiming people are scared to walk along there in the dark.
Independent councillor Amanda Williams said she has been contacted by female residents who “don’t feel safe at all” while walking along the route, which is located near Brynteg Comprehensive School and Bridgend Tennis, Squash and Bowls Club.
She said there is no lighting along the stretch, which is used often by children walking home from sports practice.
According to Cllr Williams, there are often incidents of antisocial behaviour and sometimes drug dealing along the dark route.
“Newbridge Fields is the worst place to walk. It’s really frightening along there, I’ve gone through there in the dark and I’ve run and I’ve been scared.”
Local resident Leanne Mclellan said she does not think the route is currently safe for women and children to be walking along alone when it is dark outside.
Ms Mclellan, who is also a member of the nearby tennis club, said she feels she cannot stay there until it is dark because she is afraid of walking home along the dark route at night.
“If I walk home from the tennis club in the evening there is absolutely zero lightings. That absolutely petrifies me.
“There are a few tents that have been there for the last year or so. Not that it’s an issue but for me as a woman, I find that extremely intimidating.”
She said she hopes the council will install lighting along the path and recognise the “safeguarding concerns” local people have about it.
Cllr Williams said the disappearance and murder of Sarah Everard in London in March has heightened women’s fears of walking alone in the dark at night.
“This thing in London has really freaked everyone out I think because people are now panicking about walking the route because it’s not safe.
“We need to be at least contacting Welsh Government to see what funding is available.
“If there’s no money for it we should be looking into where we can find funding. We can’t just simply say ‘there’s no money. If somebody gets attacked and killed or sexually assaulted or something that’s not good enough.”
A spokesperson for Bridgend County Borough Council said:
“The authority remains open to the suggestion. However, it should be noted that this location figured in just 0.08 per cent of all crimes reported between December 2019 and November 2020, so members would have to determine if they wanted to invest resources here, or if they felt there were other areas with greater need which should be prioritised first.”