Trouble over bridge

first_imgScottish and Southern Energy (SSE) will restore power to the lights on the Northern side of Magdalen Bridge next week after a power fault which has left it in darkness for more than a month.The company are now in breach of statutory requirements as the repair has not been rectified, despite stipulations that “energy contractors must repair street lighting faults within 20 working days” of the initial referral.As a result of enquiries made by Cherwell and City Councillor Tony Brett, it has been announced that the required works will take place late next week.Tony Brett, a Liberal Democrat Councillor for Carfax, originally made a complaint to the County Council on the 9th December and repeatedly contacted the Council about the problem. Brett expressed concern that there may be “tragic consequences” if “without street lighting a cyclist in dark clothing or lights pulls out and a car, or worse, bus driver, doesn’t see them,” and asked that the matter be given priority.Both female and male students have reported feeling increasingly fearful when crossing the bridge in darkness. “It feels much less safe at night”, Heidi Grek, a visiting student currently living near Cowley Road, told Cherwell. “I try to avoid walking home alone but that’s not always possible.”A number of students also admit to cycling without bike lights or safety measures.A spokesperson for the County Council has confirmed that SSE will be penalised, stating, “We will claim penalty payments at £10 a day, for every day over the 20 working days the fault is outstanding.”The fine seems insufficient to some of those affected. “It just seems to be a nominal penalty”, commented Grek. “£10 per day isn’t a lot to a company whose individual shares routinely trade at ten times that.”Anger remains over the time it has taken SSE to rectify the fault. Councillor Brett commented, “It’s a real shame this repair has taken such a long time, leaving Magdalen Bridge so dangerous at this late-dawn and early-dusk time of the year. “I’d like to know why SSE didn’t repair the fault before term started as I know that many students feel unsafe enough as it is walking over the bridge, without having to do it in the dark.”last_img read more