‘Grim’ hoarding on notorious Archway Bridge slammed for ‘mocking suicide’
Campaigners have condemned the placing of a “grim and tasteless” banner on Archway Bridge that seems to make light of suicide – in what is believed to be a shocking prank.
The advert, which appeared on the bridge this week, apparently promotes windscreen repair company Autoglass and reads “for whatever life throws at you”.
It was branded “insensitive and dangerous” by community campaigners who have long called for anti-suicide measures to be installed at the notorious landmark where at least seven people have fallen to their deaths since 2010.
But Autoglass swiftly issued a statement saying the hoarding was nothing to do with the company when contacted by the Ham&High on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the firm said: “We’re aware that unauthorised and distasteful signage has been placed on the bridge.
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“This has not been installed by the business and we are taking immediate steps to have it removed as soon as possible. Autoglass is not currently running any form of advertising on or near the bridge.”
Haringey Council confirmed it had not granted permission for the banner, which was securely chained to the side of the bridge, and quickly sent officers to remove it on Tuesday.
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A spokesman said: “We have not been approached for permission for a banner on the side of Archway Bridge. We will take immediate steps to have this banner removed.”
But community and mental health campaigners spoke out to condemn what appeared to be a cruel joke at the expense of people who have lost their lives at the Grade-II listed landmark, which spans Hornsey Lane in Highgate.
Sue Hessel, of Crouch End, who is campaigning for increased safety measures at the bridge, said: “It’s insensitive and horrible for people suffering from mental health issues as well as families who have lost someone on the bridge. It’s terrible.”
Fellow campaigner Sarah Cope, of Highgate, said: “It’s completely inappropriate and potentially dangerous. It feels like they are making a joke about suicide.
“Not only that but it’s distracting for drivers. It’s in very bad taste.”
Paul Murphy, whose daughter’s partner David Bennett died falling from the bridge in 2010, said: “It makes me shudder, it’s very tasteless. The sooner it’s gone, the better.”
The banner had been removed by Tuesday evening.
For confidential emotional support in a crisis, contact the Samaritans around the clock on 08457 90 90 90.