Humber Bridge campaigners say ‘don’t fear’ the bridge in call for sensible measures to prevent more deaths

The founder of the campaign group Humber Bridge Suicide Safety Measures spoke up after the footpath at the bridge was closed over the weekend.

Jo Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Facebook group, filed a petition two weeks ago to minimize the risk of suicide attempts on the bridge. Closing the bridge to the public is “not the solution”. You can click here to sign the petition.

The Humber Bridge Suicide Safety Measures group has been campaigning for more measures to secure the bridge, whether by adding raised barriers or gates at both ends, for the past six years since the tragic death of 14-year-old Will Shaw in September 2014.

On Saturday, the Humber Bridge Board’s decision to close both walkways came just hours after a sixth person tragically killed their lives last month alone.

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Flowers left after the death of a teenage girl near the Humber Bridge, one of six who died there in the past month

“I don’t think closing the bridge to the public is the solution,” said Jo, encouraging those affected to contact her on the Facebook page.

“Access to support for those who are in crisis must be a priority,” she added.

“I think a ticketing system for access to the bridge should also be considered – similar to the toll, so you’ll need a pass or a ticket to access it.

“Drivers who leave their cars and jump off the bridge must also be taken into account.”

But Jo understood how closing the bridges could keep others from witnessing suicides and allowed families to put their loved ones to rest.

“We know that prevention measures don’t eliminate bad mental health,” she said.

“However, it will prevent viewers and those who never find their loved ones again from suffering the pain and suffering of seeing someone commit suicide this way.

“The Humber Bridge Board has made it clear that all staff are trained to assist people in crisis and that they have signs with Samaritan contact numbers and hotlines.

“Unfortunately, they do not have the resources to make the changes necessary to secure the bridge.

“Since the handrails are structurally sound and conform to UK and European directives, they cannot support this.”

The problem that cyclists have to cycle on the road after the footpaths are closed is also a problematic problem, according to Jo.

“I think closing the bridge for cyclists is not ideal,” she said.

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“It is in the public’s interest to make sure that people have the opportunity to be as active as possible.

“It’s clear that exercise is an important factor in good mental health. Another option is for cyclists to apply for a pass.”

Almost 9,000 people have signed the petition Jo set up to “secure” the Humber Bridge in order to prevent or significantly reduce the number of suicide attempts there.

Encouraging more people to sign the petition, Jo said, referring to the Humber Bridge, “We have one of the most beautiful landmarks in the country, let’s enjoy it and not fear it.”

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Meanwhile, the Humber Bridge Board has defended its controversial decision to close the bridge’s walkways, stating that the unprecedented surge in deaths in recent weeks is “unlike anything we’ve covered”.

While the decision has been mocked by some, many others believe that such a move is long overdue or simply does not go far enough.

On Monday, Grimsby Live joined in with calls for more and more permanent action to prevent even more tragedy.

Now the Humber Bridge Board has recognized that their decision, while not universally supported, was necessary as the “most immediate and effective way to prevent further incidents” at the bridge.

A spokesman said this was “the board’s only consideration in making the decision”.

He said the measures already taken were “largely effective” to prevent such incidents before March, but the situation last month was completely unprecedented.

Talks on a more permanent solution continue as the board hoped to reopen the footpaths for commuters “as soon as possible”.

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