PEOPLE gathered in Kelvingrove Park this evening to demonstrate for better lighting in Glasgow’s parks.

The demonstration was part of Clyde 1 & 2’s #LightTheWay campaign which is highlighting the safety concerns of women and groups across Glasgow and calling for improved lighting in the city’s green spaces.

The campaign was launched last month after the debate over lighting was reignited during COP26 after a Police diversion meant locals had to walk through a dark Kelvingrove Park to get home.

Temporary lighting was then installed for the event and campaigners are arguing that the improved lighting should be made permanent.

READ MORE:Police hunt for cyclist after 'unacceptable' sexual assault on woman in Paisley

The Herald:

Natalie Crawford-Goodwin, #LightTheWay spokesperson and campaigning journalist at Clyde 1 News, said they decided to hold the local authority to account after the COP26 incident brought the issue to the fore.

She said: “We asked them the question ‘why can’t we have lights in the park’ and the answer that came back was quite shocking.

“It was that the local authority felt that parks were not places for people to be at night and that we shouldn’t be using them in the evenings, and we said ‘well, why not’.

“We’d like to see the main routes through all parks in Glasgow lit up so that people can commute through them, travel through them, exercise in them safely after dark.

“Obviously we know in Scotland after four o’clock it’s pitch black which in the winter is no use to anybody.”

The Herald: Natalie Crawford-GoodwinNatalie Crawford-Goodwin

Yesterday, a motion by Labour councillor Jill Brown demanding better lighting gained full cross-party support at the Glasgow City Chambers.

After a unanimous vote, the Council has committed to bringing forward a report detailing the necessary changes.

Natalie said: “It is a step in the right direction, and it is good to see the SNP-led administration taking this seriously and almost back-pedalling on the position that they held even just four weeks ago, but it’s not enough and it won’t be enough until we are able to stand in Kelvingrove or any other park in Glasgow at four o’clock and it be lit up and be safe.”

The Herald: Kelvingrove ParkKelvingrove Park

The campaign has had an “incredible” response and today people gathered at the Stewart Memorial Fountain at 6pm to keep pressure on the council.

Mark Wilson, 46, from Maryhill believes parks should be better lit so people can use them any time of day or night.

He said: “This park’s busy tonight, busier than I thought it would be, and the people deserve adequate lighting to pass through here safely.

“It’s only 20 minutes past five, there’s a lot of people going home from work, a lot of people heading into town, and this is the perfect place to walk through and it would look so beautiful at night.

“In winter most people wear black and walking through here without a light on, you wouldn’t see anyone, you could walk right past someone on the same path as you and because they’re all dressed in black you wouldn’t see them.”

The Herald: Mark WilsonMark Wilson

Ayla Kadyrova, 28, and her husband Fuad Alakbarov, 33, from Woodside also want to see better lighting in the parks for people’s safety.

Ayla said: “Even in the evening it’s not safe.

“Now it’s six o’clock and we can’t walk here without our phones because I couldn’t see anything.

“I feel unsafe without my husband.”

The Herald: Ayla Kadyrova and Fuad AlakbarovAyla Kadyrova and Fuad Alakbarov

Members of the public were also joined by figures from across the political spectrum, including Labour MSP Paul Sweeney and Lord Provost Philip Braat.

Paul Sweeney said he has been supporting the #LightTheWay campaign after constituents contacted him about people being forced to walk through Kelvingrove at night during COP26.

He said: “I think the Light The Way campaign is a way of positively channelling that frustration people felt into saying ‘well we do need to have parks that are accessible to all’.

“So much of our built environment and urban design is done by men without much consideration of the vulnerabilities of other groups, particularly women, so I think the parks are a good example of that.”

The Herald: Labour MSP Paul SweeneyLabour MSP Paul Sweeney

The Lord Provost said he attended the event as he wants to give his “110% support” to the campaign.

He said: “Even just coming up to the park myself today and walking through the park, it is extremely dark and it’s so intimidating for anyone.

“For women, children, men, absolutely anyone and everyone should have the right to walk about freely and go about their day-to-day business unencumbered and feeling safe.

“And at this moment in time, I myself don’t feel safe walking around the park, and it’s not simply just this park here in Kelvingrove, it is every single park throughout the city and beyond.

“I’m here with colleagues from across the political spectrum to make sure that words are turned into action.”

The Herald: Lord Provost Philip BraatLord Provost Philip Braat