Dear Councillor Tony Page,
I see that the architects for the new footbridge make reference to minimising visual intrusion but at the same time you make a virtue of fitting it with lighting above and beyond that required for safety. I understand that you want to advance Reading in the eyes of business and tourism, or even to convince people that you are doing a good job. However I would like reassurance that you have recognised that Reading in general is a significant source of light pollution in the south-east and the following considerations are in the minds of the council.
- Lighting should be aimed where it is needed. Not into the sky to significant environmental and aesthetic detriment.
- Lighting should not be aimed downwards over water (reflection) for same reasons as above.
- Lighting can seriously block visibility for onlookers. Any structure such as this will surely be a feature of crime or accident at some time in the future. Unless the lighting is subject to stringent design criteria it will impair the usefulness of witnesses.
- Lighting in an area of natural interest – it is a river and contains divers species in and out of the water – will disrupt circadian cycles of those species.
- There is a good proportion of the population that regards ‘entertainment-lighting’ as just bad taste.
Please do not tell me that modern lighting is cheap to run. ‘Cheap’ is what we are trying to avoid.