Following a number of serious assaults in Newport Town Centre, the Isle of Wight Community Safety Partnership set up a working group to look at ways of reducing crime in the town centre during the evenings.
A new public transport interchange has been created in Newport High Street close to the late opening pubs, bars and takeaway outlets. This includes a new bus stop for late night bus routes, which will be in use after midnight on Friday and Saturday nights from Friday 7 October.
The existing 2 vehicle taxi rank near to the Guildhall has also been extended to provide space for an additional 6 taxis between 20:00 and 06:00 every day. In addition, double yellow lines have been painted in front of Hog’s Head, Yates and Moda to improve visibility for both pedestrians and road users.
As part of the work of the group, additional measures have been put in place by Hog’s Head, Yates and Moda to promote more responsible drinking. Refreshments including bottled water and hot and cold food are being made available around closing time and the three premises have agreed for their door staff to assist in managing the new transport arrangements in the vicinity of their bars.
“The lower part of Newport High Street gets very busy with pedestrians and vehicles late at night due to the variety of bars and takeaways in the area. We found that with large numbers of people congregating in the area in the early hours of the morning, there were high incidences of anti-social behaviour in the High Street and surrounding areas as people made their way to the bus station or to the taxi rank in South Street.”
Amanda Gregory, regulatory and community safety services manager at the Isle of Wight Council and also chair of the Isle of Wight Community Safety Partnership, said:
“Reducing anti-social behaviour, violent crime and road safety are three priority areas for the partnership. We hope that the new transport arrangements will not only make it safer for pedestrians as they leave the pubs and bars, but will also disperse people away from the town centre more quickly, therefore reducing the risk of anti-social behaviour taking place.
“I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the working group, especially Southern Vectis for changing its late night bus timetable to accommodate the new arrangements and the licenced premises for introducing measures to promote responsible drinking and assisting with crowd dispersal, this is an excellent example of partnership working to make our night time economy a safe and enjoyable experience.”
The success of the new arrangements will be evaluated over the next 6 months by the Isle of Wight Community Safety Partnership and reviewed if necessary.