Girton continuously lobbied to University to make changes to the Ridgeway's lightingthe pale side of insomnia // flickr

A street lighting issue has been resolved at Girton, after the “lamentable” conditions on a path between accommodation and the college provoked concerns around women’s safety.

The Student Union and the University Estates Team have successfully lobbied for the installation of new lighting on Girton Ridgeway, the passageway between Girton and its offsite accommodation, Swirles Court.

This success comes after the University was criticised in March for the poor lighting along the path, which reportedly made Girton students feel unsafe at night.

There were numerous attempts by Girton and the University to improve conditions of travel between the College and its accommodation after reported attacks and general safety concerns.

The University had previously installed solar-powered lights, but these were described by students as “temperamental at best and horrendous at worst”. Students reported that these often did not turn on and did not calm safety fears.

Girton College in turn announced a free taxi scheme to and from the off-site accommodation to respond to “the lamentable lack of effective lighting on the Ridgeway path […] despite continual lobbying of the University by Girton”.

This issue was then submitted to the SU’s Student Council in an attempt to resolve the lighting failures.


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The former SU women’s officer, Eseosa Akojie, worked in conjunction with the University Estates Team to improve the night-time safety of students travelling through the Ridgeway.

The current SU women's officer, Rosie Freeman, told Varsity: "Street lighting has been an active campaign of the Women's Campaign for many years, winning increased street lighting on Parker's Piece some years ago. Gender-sensitive lighting helps to make spaces inclusive and safer for students. Lighting up Girton was a collaboration between Eseosa and the university Estates Team. The Estates Team welcomes any feedback from students."

A University spokesperson told Varsity: “We listened to the concerns of students regarding the lack of lighting between Bunkers Hill and Swirles Court and sought to find a technical solution that could work along the temporary Ridgeway.”

“The solar-powered street lights allowed us to solve this problem despite there being no electrical infrastructure in the ground along this route. Sustainably powered, they can also be lifted out and reused elsewhere once we install the permanent Ridgeway in future,” they said.

As of the 8th of November, the SU announced that the lights are “now operational”.