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Archway Bridge anti-suicide measures signed off by Islington Council

PUBLISHED: 12:59 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:24 10 September 2018

Archway Bridge. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archway Bridge. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Anti-suicide measures at the Archway Bridge have been approved in a move that should bring an end to a 15-year campaign.

Listed building consent was signed off by Islington Council’s planning sub-committee on Thursday, meaning a 3.3-metre stainless steel fencing above the footpath and in front of the parapet will now be installed, providing Haringey agrees.

The campaign for the measures has been ongoing since 2001, and has regularly been met with opposition over the impact it will have on the bridge’s historic design.

Previous plans by TfL were scrapped after a test fence installed in 2016 showed it didn’t work. Police were called 41 times during the trial and one person was able to jump.

Ceidre Hayward, whose son Jonathan Culverwell-Landsberg died at the bridge in 2013, told the Gazette: “I don’t know how many people have to die before they do something but I’m just thankful something is now going to be done.”

Ceidre, who moved from Highgate to south Wales two years ago, said she was “absolutely devastated” every time she read about another death at the bridge, and had words for people who opposed the measures.

“It’s mind-blowing,” she said. “How good a place looks doesn’t matter if it ends somebody’s life. Even if you don’t know the person, it’s about other people. If it saves one life it’s worth it.”

Islington leader Cllr Richard Watts had previously said he was “furious” with TfL over delays that cost a life.

He also welcomed the news, saying: “It is an absolute tragedy that people have lost their lives, and our thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones.

“The installation of the fence is supported by the police, local councillors and MPs, staff from the Whittington Hospital, members of the local clergy and the multi-agency Haringey Suicide Prevention Group.

“We look forward to the final stages of the decision-making process in Haringey progressing and to the installation of the fence as soon as possible.”

For anyone wanting help or support, contact Samaritans on freephone number 116 123, jo@samaritans.org or by texting 07725 909090.

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