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Vauxhall Bridge mugging anger

PUBLISHED: 13:20 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 July 2010

THE night-time mugging of a teenager on Great Yarmouth's eyesore Vauxhall Bridge has prompted calls for action to improve lighting and safety.

Demands of its owners Sustrans, the guardians of the nation's cycleways, for improvements at the path crossed daily by hundreds of commuters and shoppers have yielded only minor improvements.

THE night-time mugging of a teenager on Great Yarmouth's eyesore Vauxhall Bridge has prompted calls for action to improve lighting and safety.

Demands of its owners Sustrans, the guardians of the nation's cycleways, for improvements at the path crossed daily by hundreds of commuters and shoppers have yielded only minor improvements.

Meanwhile police are appealing for witnesses to the attack on the 16-year-old local lad who was making his way to the train station at about 8.20pm on Thursday, February 7.

According to a police statement, the teenager was confronted by two hooded men wearing scarves who first tapped him on the shoulder.

When the boy turned round one punched him in the stomach while the other searched his pockets. The men ran off towards Aldi with a small amount of cash.

Criminal damage co-ordinator Dave Gladden said the issue of poor lighting and the general state of disrepair of the area came into sharp focus following a visual inspection a few months ago that was forming the basis of an action plan.

But despite the willingness of local organisations to help fund improvements the bridge - which was tipped to be replaced by a Millennium-style bridge five years ago - it remains a source of local frustration

David Glason, planning policy manager at the borough council, pledged to alert the borough's own lighting division but warned responsibility lay with the owners.

The youngster's ordeal gave calls for improvements added impetus, he added, but said developer-funded improvements under the Urban Regeneration Company's sweeping brief to improve North Quay were still a way off.

Mr Glason said Sustrans's decision not to spend even a fraction of a recent £50m government windfall on the bridge was disappointing. He added: “The bridge is in private ownership and so is the land on either side.

“If incidents like this are happening on the bridge and there is a lighting issue and a safety issue it could be something other bodies could get involved with.”

He understood Sustrans had improved the walking surface amid concerns people could slip on the wooden timbers.

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