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Ipswich: Nets could be installed alongside Orwell Bridge to reduce number of suicides

PUBLISHED: 18:58 04 July 2014

Orwell Bridge Ipswich

Orwell Bridge Ipswich

Archant

A multi-million pound plan to prevent suicides from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge could be used as the model for a similar scheme on the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk.

The iconic America landmark is to have steel netting installed alongside it to help prevent people jumping from it.

And yesterday the Highways Agency refused to rule out the possibility of doing something similar with the bridge carrying the A14 across the Orwell.

When asked whether netting was an idea being considered a Highways Agency spokesman said: “We will be carrying out a review into the bridge this financial year.

“During this review we will look to see if there is any technology or best practice which could be adopted to help increase safety measures.

“The Orwell Bridge already has higher parapets than usual, which is sufficient to prevent people from accidentally falling, and Samaritan phones are provided for use by people who feel they may need confidential emotional support.”

The decision to conduct the review comes against a backdrop of another death involving the bridge just two days ago.

The body of 66-year-old Peter Thorpe, of St John’s Court, Sunfield Close, Ipswich, was found below the Orwell Bridge on Wednesday morning. He had been due to appear before Ipswich magistrates on sex offence charges around five hours later.
Forty-two people have now died since the Orwell Bridge opened in 1982, according to official figures.

Stowmarket Road in Great Blakenham was closed on Saturday night after a car left the road and crashed into a house.

Police have named the van driver who died in an accident on the Orwell Bridge on Friday as 67-year-old Michael (Mick) Rayner from Essex.

A new customer service office has opened in Sudbury as Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils prepare to move their main operations to Ipswich where they will share Suffolk’s Endeavour House headquarters.

Road crews from Highways England will be working at the following sites on East Anglia’s busiest roads over the next week – so this is where drivers can expect to find delays:

Colchester MP Will Quince was visibly moved as the House of Commons passed a new law giving parents the right to compassionate leave from work after suffering the tragedy of stillbirth.

The snooker area at Bears Pool & Snooker Club in Ipswich has now opened following the venue relaunch this summer.

A primary school student is counting down the days until the Bury St Edmunds Round Table fireworks display after winning an artwork competition to be the VIP.

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