A PREGNANT woman has won a three-month battle for secluded footpaths in Sheffield city centre to be made safer.
Helen Jenkinson, aged 28, senior administrator and marketing co-ordinator at The Pinnacles student flats, on Broad Street, reported concerns in September.
Despite being told the council would not pay for work to cut back bushes because they were ‘not obstructing footpaths’, Helen, who is 16 weeks’ pregnant, persisted with her fight.
Now the routes are being landscaped to make them more open so it is more difficult for muggers to strike.
Helen said: “Both routes were always very secluded and have been hotspots for muggings and attacks, and students in particular have been targeted.
“I know that several of our students have been mugged. They don’t always tell us but we hear it on the grapevine. The students are particularly vulnerable late at night when some walk because they don’t want to pay for taxis.”
Helen also started using the paths when she moved from Sheffield to Chesterfield and began catching the train to get to work.
She said: “I was becoming increasingly anxious when walking either route, especially with evenings getting darker as I have to walk to the station after work alone.”
Helen contacted Sheffield Council but said she was ‘passed around’ and nothing happened.
But she finally arranged a meeting with a representative from council contractor Amey who met her on site.
“I showed him the two routes and he agreed it was very secluded and he himself had been attacked in that area a few years previous but he advised me the council would not pay out for any work to be done as the overgrown trees and bushes did not stop pedestrians from using the footpath.”
But Helen contacted Central Coun Jillian Creasy who forwarded her concerns to Amey and a further meeting was arranged and work was carried out.
Helen said: “I feel much safer walking along, which is especially comforting as I am pregnant.”
Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene, said: “I’m really grateful to Helen for raising the issue.
“I am pleased that due to the work that has already been carried out by Amey that Helen feels safer using this area.”