Calls have been made for Norwich street lights near the University of East Anglia to be kept on after midnight, amid safety fears among students.

A petition was presented to leaders at Norfolk County Council urging the authority, which reduced street light switch-on hours a number of years ago, to keep lights on for longer on a number of main roads near the campus.

More than 200 students signed the petition presented to council leaders, before a meeting of the Conservative-controlled cabinet meeting on Monday (November 6).

Eastern Daily Press: UEA students present a petition about street lights to Graham Plant, of Norfolk County CouncilUEA students present a petition about street lights to Graham Plant, of Norfolk County Council (Image: Matt Reilly)

They are calling on the council to keep lights in streets such as Wycliffe Road and Friends Road on until 3am.

Ninty-four percent of students surveyed said they would feel safer if street lights were left on later.

Student Maanya Shah, one of the petition organisers, said: "We have previously been told to flag places where students don’t feel safe using an online service, but very few students know about this and therefore the council assumes that no one is worried about safety in these areas.

"We know these changes cannot fully eradicate safety concerns, but the goal is to help people feel safer and more aware of their surroundings."

Matt Reilly, Labour county councillor for the city's University ward, said: "It is heartbreaking that students at UEA feel unsafe when leaving or returning to campus after midnight.

"I hope the county council will seriously consider improvements to student safety in and around the UEA campus."

Graham Plant, the council's cabinet member for highways, said many of the roads in the area already remained lit throughout the night.

He said: "Before considering any review of Wycliffe Road and Friends Road to be illuminated all night (with dimming), the impacts on energy consumption, CO2 and upgrades to
streetlighting equipment to facilitate a change would need to be investigated."

He said he would meet students about the issue after speaking to officers and added that the police and crime commissioner worked with the police and the university to keep students safe.

Talks about reviving the night bus service in Norwich have been taking place between the council, the UEA, its students' union and First.