An £80,000 new lighting scheme along the West Cross promenade, funded by the two ward councillors, has had an official switch on thanks to the Lord Mayor.
Labour Cllrs Mark Child and Des Thomas pooled special council contributions towards investing in the low-level, environmentally-friendly lighting.
Stretching for about one mile, the new lighting is aimed at further improving safety and accessibility for walkers, runners, cyclists and other promenade users when it’s dark.
Cllr Des Thomas said: “It’s an idea that has been around for three or four years and it’s nice when those ideas come to fruition.
“Everyone has applauded the idea and from that point of view it’s a success, and we take it as a compliment that other councillors and community councillors are inquiring about extending the lights at both directions and replicating what we have done in West Cross.”
Cllr Mark Child added: “We are just delighted to be able to provide these lights. We finally managed to get the money together thanks to some special Swansea Council funding and it’s proved a real success.
“The likes of cyclists, runners and dog walkers enjoy the lights. They think they are an attraction and they are also making people feel safe first thing in the morning and later at night.”
Each ward in Swansea is being given at least £36,000 to invest in new play equipment or other facilities as part of the scheme. This is in addition to local councillors using funding from their environmental budgets to boost communities.
Labour Cllr Mark Thomas, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Enhancement and Infrastructure Management, said: “The low-level lighting delivers a big improvement, while ensuring the night sky is unaffected.
“The scheme is already proving very popular, but it will really come into its own during the autumn and winter, giving people even more time to enjoy the promenade.
“Given how successful this scheme has been, we’re also exploring the introduction of similar lighting on other parts of the promenade to benefit even more residents, businesses and visitors to the city.
Labour Cllr Andrew Stevens, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Business Improvement and Performance, said: “This fantastic new lighting scheme in West Cross is part an overall council investment that will ensure every ward in Swansea benefits from new facilities. Other examples include new play facilities already being enjoyed by children and families in communities like Grovesend.
“We’re so lucky to have a promenade that stretches alongside our world class bay, but we’ll keep doing all we can to further improve the facility for walkers, cyclists and other promenade users.”
Dennis Dywer, of Ripples Café, said: “I’m a resident of West Cross and I have a business here on the promenade. It’s made a big difference – certainly to the business.
“It’s great to see many more cyclists using it day after day – not using their cars, supporting active travel and the very important climate change agenda.”
John Sayce, Chair of Wheelrights – the Swansea Bay cycle campaign – said: “It’s a fantastic scheme. It’s something that we greatly welcome.
“This scheme will increase the amount of time that cyclists can safely cycle from Mumbles through to West Cross. This is a particular benefit to people who are not used to cycling.”
MAIN CAPTION: Pictured at the official switching on of the promenade lights at West Cross were (L-R) Cllr Mark Child, Mumbles Community Cllrs Rebecca Fogarty, Sarah Keeton, Martin O’Neill (Labour chair), and Cllr Des Thomas