Thousands sign petition for lights in north Leeds park

Petition organiser Kelly-Anne Watson in Beckett's Park

Petition organiser Kelly-Anne Watson in Beckett's Park

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Thousands of people have backed a campaign to install lights in a park that is a popular thoroughfare for students to stop them walking home in “pitch black”.

Leeds Beckett University events management student Kelly-Anne Watson launched the online petition after sharing concerns with fellow undergraduates about the safety of Beckett’s Park in Headingley.

Nearly 3,000 people have added their names to the list of backers on the Change.org in the last month.

Miss Watson, who lives in Headingley, said: “I walk through Beckett’s Park at least six times a week and I find it hard to understand why there’s not one street light especially in mid winter.

“It’s literally pitch black and there have been so many times when I’ve had to run home because I don’t feel safe.”

Miss Watson, who runs the Miss Leeds pageant, said she had held a number of focus groups on the issue and had spoken in lectures about it.

“The word spread like wild fire around university and now is spoken about regularly, she said. “Unfortunately, my plea hasn’t been taken very seriously by the council or highways.”

A spokesman for Leeds City Council said: “The safety of residents and students in the city is of the utmost importance to the council so we’re always keen to hear people’s views and suggestions. Clearly this petition has garnered some support so we’re happy to have a look at the issue as we have with other parks in the area. From previous investigations in the past, however, we are conscious that lighting parks does not always mean they become the safest route so it’s important to maintain a balance between acting on requests such as this one and encouraging the public to use already establish walking routes, particularly at night.”

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