Dear Cllr Tony Page

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.

  1. Lighting should be aimed where it is needed. Not into the sky to significant environmental and aesthetic detriment.
  2. Lighting should not be aimed downwards over water (reflection) for same reasons as above.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Gerry Bond

Earley, Reading.