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Archway bridge anti-suicide measures get the green light

Despite concerns from some conservationists, after 15-year wrangle 3m barrier is step closer

14 September, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Artist impression of the proposed fencing at the Archway viaduct 


SUICIDE prevention measures at the Archway viaduct have been agreed following a 15-year back and forth between Transport for London and Haringey Council.

Islington councillors gave listed building consent for a 3.3m fence to be erected at the iconic bridge at a planning committee meeting on Thursday.

Campaigners have long called for anti-suicide measures at the bridge following a spate of deaths and cases where people have attempted to end their lives.

TfL installed fences and CCTV cameras at the bridge back in 2016 but they proved ineffective, leading to Town Hall leader Cllr Richard Watts saying he was “very, very angry” about their “shambolic” efforts.

A handful of conservationists have previously raised concerns about the impact of the fencing on the Grade II-listed bridge, which was constructed in 1900.

The planning document passed by the council said: “While it is accepted that the proposals will cause some visual harm to the heritage asset, the harm is considered to be less than substantial, reversible and to be outweighed by the substantial public benefit of deterring and preventing suicide from taking place at the bridge.”

The document added: “Therefore, the proposals will not unacceptably harm the significance of the heritage asset and are considered to comply with national and local policy.”

Cllr Watts said this week that the decision “brings us one step closer to making Archway Bridge safer”.

He added: “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. Evidence suggests that such measures can be effective in discouraging suicide overall.”

The plans still need to be approved by Haringey Council where the northern part of the bridge is located.

Anyone struggling or affected by this story can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123, email or text 07725 909090 for confidential support.

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