Safety fears over bridge

Steppingstone Bridge in Spalding.
Steppingstone Bridge in Spalding.
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WORRIED commuters say they would rather take a longer route home than face walking over Spalding’s Steppingstone Bridge in the dark.

Liz Gent and Ed Jones, who both live in Woolram Wygate, use the bridge on a daily basis on their way to and from the railway station but have spoken out about using it at night when its one and only light is out of action.

They say it is impossible to see who may be on the bridge, which links Park Road and King’s Road, and it is intimidating to cross when groups of men are drinking nearby.

Ms Gent said: “Crossing over in the morning is not an issue any time of the year for me simply because of the time of day and daylight, but at night I will only use the bridge if I have one or more of my male commuter buddies with me.”

Mr Jones says using the bridge in the dark is “not a safe experience”.

“Because of the lack of lighting, the top of the bridge offers privacy,” he said. “There have been groups of people gathered on the span crouched down, not necessarily doing anything wrong, but as some female rail passengers have commented, it is frightening in the dark.”

Lincolnshire County Council and Network Rail have had discussions about how to fix the light but have so far failed to agree on a way forward.

The council says the lamp post is now behind a security fence on railway land, meaning engineers do not have access to it.

Stan Hall, Lincolnshire County Council’s principal engineer, said: “We’re working with Network Rail to find a way forward, as we appreciate people using the bridge could find it more difficult in the dark.

“The lamp post cannot be maintained and will, at some time in the future, have to be removed from railway land. In the meantime we’re hopeful that a better solution can soon be identified.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said it had previously made arrangements to provide access to the light for county council workers.

They said Network Rail has declined a request from the council to take over responsibility for the light.