3M HIGH STEEL FENCE TO BE BUILT AROUND BACK GATE

A 3m high, steel fence is to be built along the back gate of Royal Holloway, leading towards Spring Rise.

At a total length of over 300m, a palisade fence will replace the existing chain link structure with the aim of preventing it from being frequently cut and climbed through.

A statement from the university claimed: “Work is underway on a new fence and gate at the entrance to campus at Spring Rise. This work, along with improved lighting, will be finished in the first weeks of December and will ensure a safer campus for students and staff, along with added security for local residents. There will be no change to the current arrangements which see the gate locked at night.”

“I believe students actually make more noise by climbing the gate, if it was open I think people would just walk through quickly and quietly.”

A statement from Helen Groenendaal, Community Liaison & Support Officer at Royal Holloway stated that: “At the College we are committed to providing an entrance to campus at Spring Rise that is both secure and safe for our students and which minimises the impact the gate has on residents”.

Third year student Ellie disputes this claim and sates that: “At the end of the day students are always going to want to climb the back gate to get home quicker and safer. I believe students actually make more noise by climbing the gate, if it was open I think people would just walk through quickly and quietly. It’s too dangerous to walk down the A30 alone at night, and sometimes not walking alone isn’t an option.”

Once the back gate closes, between 23:15 and 00:45, opening up again at 6:45, the university advises students to ‘use the SSHH! buss to get home’. However, students have claimed this advice is ‘outdated’ as an increasing number of university facilities (such as the 24/7 library) are open later.

Third year geography student Sarah-Jane claims that “now the library is also 24/7, people are on campus more of the time late at night. The university prides itself on having 24/7 services for its students, yet does not have suitable arrangements for students to get back home after this. SSHH! busses only tend to run after SU event nights and therefore at other times of the week people are stuck.”

Despite planning applications having been submitted in February, work on the gate has only just begun, with the removal of trees at the side of the sports centre and the appearance of large holes in the ground leading up to the back gate.