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

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.

8 comments

  • Sorry but while it might be true that people who are " determined to commit suicide" might eventually find another way without help and support, evidence shows that "finding another building"" doesn't happen! These are not just "nets" they are specifically designed suicide prevention nets! They don't just catch! I find it so sad that I live in a town where so many people take their own lives from the "Iconic Image" of the place, yet so few understand it. or want to prevent it! Google Suicide Bridge UK ! Such a shame Ipswich is associated with this "fame"

    Report this comment

    ME

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • This a total waste of time and money! If people are determined to commit suicide they will just find another building to jump off. What's really needed is more and easier access to counselling services when people need them and not just some nets to catch al the people jumping of the bridge. It always seems to be the cheapest easiest option that these authorities opt for rather than tackling the root courses.

    Report this comment

    John Smith

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • How "Ipswich" - the Star rookies looking yet again to find a tenuous link with world affairs for a story. Sad and small town. All netting on the bridge will do is cause more damn train delays.

    Report this comment

    Sarky Sage

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • 1 man under the age of 50 takes his own life every 12 minutes in the UK. More males between the age of 15 and 35 die in this way, more than are killed on the roads. This is a serious problem and anything that can help should be taken seriously also. These are not just nets they steel nets designed specifically for suicide prevention. Any person landing in one would still suffer serious injuries and evidence shows that in places where these have been installed,suicide rates have dropped significantly. Every suicide is known to severely effect,on average, at least 12 other people known to the deceased. That is an awful lot of people suffering from the loss of these 42 poor souls. How many more should go through this?

    Report this comment

    ME

    Saturday, July 5, 2014

  • @Lee Mundy - if they have Server problems they need IT support.... that's easily found in the yellow pages

    Report this comment

    DaveHedgehog

    Friday, July 4, 2014

  • bouncy castle ... that's what they need . at the bottom .

    Report this comment

    Lee mundy

    Friday, July 4, 2014

  • these are people with server problems . NOT a fish . putting up nets . what a total waste of time . if these people got help they needed maybe they would not jump. but some people will just take there on life and no nets will do ,

    Report this comment

    Lee mundy

    Friday, July 4, 2014

  • What a complete waste of time and money. If you are in that frame of mind and determined to end your own life then you will surely do whatever. What next- the ban of selling hose pipes or putting 8ft fences along every train route.??

    Report this comment

    fordy

    Friday, July 4, 2014

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