Grieving family supports plan for higher barriers at bridge
PUBLISHED: 12:25 05 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:25 05 July 2013
The family of a man who died after jumping from Archway Bridge have hailed proposals to increase anti-suicide measures at the death spot.
Jonathan Culverwell-Landsberg, 33, died from head injuries after climbing over the bridge railings on June 7.
Now, detailed designs for the anti-jumping measures are being drafted by architects for Haringey Council and TfL, which are joining forces to try to reduce deaths from jumping at this site.
The most likely option, subject to final designs, would have a barrier approximately 1 to 1.5m higher than the existing rails, with an anti-climbing inwards angle.
However, a net around the bridge has been ruled out for fear people may jump off for fun.
Jonathan’s mother Ceidre, 61, said: “We are really very happy to know that these proposals have been brought forward following Jonathan’s death.
“It has taken my son’s death for them to do it, but if it can stop more people going through the pain we have this is good. At last they have started looking at making it safer there.”
Sister Tasharna, 25, said: “I think they’re right that a net could attract people who just want to jump for fun and it could be dangerous to those people who do want to do it for adrenaline reasons or whatever.
“So I agree with extending the wall, because I think it will take a lot of time for them to climb it so someone can get there in time to help, but also it gives them time to think about what they’re doing because it takes longer to climb.
“At the moment it’s just so easy to jump over, and I know my brother never would have done it if there was a bigger wall there. He would still be with us today.
“We feel happy that in a way he will have left a legacy and that his death wasn’t for nothing. If it stops just one more family going through this it will have been worth it.”
The measures will be presented to English Heritage for approval next month.
The design is similar to one introduced on the Clifton Suspension Bridge, in Bristol, which saw the number of suicides drop by half following its installation. According to Deparetment of Health guidance, physical barriers are the most effective form of prevention at jumping sites.
Cllr Nilgun Canver, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Haringey Council, the local authority in charge of the bridge, said: “I believe these measures may go some way to preventing more tragic deaths at this site by making it much more difficult for someone to gain access to the ledge. Suicide is very complicated and its prevention involves far more than physical barriers, but I hope we can assist and help people to think twice before trying to jump or give passers-by more time to intervene.
“Archway bridge is an English Heritage site and any designs must be authorised by them before preparatory works can begin. The council and TfL are committed to installing increased suicide prevention measures at this site but we can only do so if English Heritage agrees.”
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