'No one should feel unsafe in Ipswich' - dark stretch of Waterfront now lit up

Cllr Rob Bridgeman says he is delighted with the new lights, and hopes that they will help residents to feel at ease

Cllr Rob Bridgeman says he is delighted with the new lights, and hopes that they will help residents to feel at ease in the area late at night. - Credit: Cllr Rob Bridgeman

Ipswich Waterfront will now be fully lit throughout the night in an effort to help keep residents safe. 

Solar-powered lighting units have now been installed along the Waterfront after Suffolk County Councillor Rob Bridgeman heard that one area of the main walkway was unlit overnight, leaving residents feeling unsafe.

He said: “I was talking to fellow Councillor Liz Harsant who lives nearby, and she informed me there was a section of the main walkway – close to Dance East – that is used by visitors going to pubs or restaurants with no lighting – actually in complete darkness. 

The stretch of the Ipswich Waterfront close to Dance East is now fully lit by solar planters,

The stretch of the Ipswich Waterfront close to Dance East is now fully lit by solar planters, in an effort to help residents feel safe in the town. - Credit: Cllr Rob Bridgeman

“No one should ever feel unsafe going out in Ipswich at night, especially females and girls and I will do anything I can to stop this.” 

Getting lighting installed so close to the waterfront at first proved difficult. 

“In the end, the lighting engineers at Suffolk County Council came up with an excellent solution and we went with solar-powered lighting in planters.” 

Funding was provided by the Adept Live Labs Project. 

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Laura Polley, from Kesgrave, has been instrumental in leading Suffolk’s Reclaim the Streets initiative which campaigns for improvements to be made to help women’s safety. 

Cllr Rob Bridgeman says he is delighted with the new lights, and hopes that they will help residents to feel at ease

Cllr Rob Bridgeman says he is delighted with the new lights, and hopes that they will help residents to feel at ease in the area late at night. - Credit: Cllr Rob Bridgeman

She welcomed the improved lighting on the Waterfront. 

“Whether it actually improves safety or not is a different matter, but I definitely think it will make people feel safer,” she said. 

“A lot of people use the waterfront to walk home. It's definitely a well-travelled route and people will see the benefit of it.  

“It's nice to see that money has been invested in places outside of the town centre and the Norwich Road areas, which always seem to be labelled a problem. 

“It's a positive step in the right direction." 

Cllr Bridgeman said he is committed to helping people feel safe in Ipswich. 

“I would like to encourage residents within the town, or enjoying a night out in Ipswich, that if they don’t feel safe and have any ideas for improvements or worries about town to contact me, as I’d be very happy to listen and hopefully provide some sort of solution.”