September 24th, 2016

Council chiefs refuse to cage Redditch bridge after man’s death

Council chiefs refuse to cage Redditch bridge after man’s death Council chiefs refuse to cage Redditch bridge after man’s death
Updated: 3:02 pm, Jul 07, 2016

COUNTY Council chiefs are refusing to cage off the Muskets Way bridge on the Bromsgrove Highway – the scene of another death on Sunday (July 3).

Police were called to the highway at 8.50am but the man was sadly pronounced dead at the scene, reigniting a campaign to get the bridge caged off.

A petition was put forward in 2012 by the families of two other men who lost their lives in the same spot almost exactly four years ago today.

Both County Councillor Joe Baker (Lab, Arrow Valey East), Redditch borough council leader, Coun Bill Hartnett are urging County Hall in Worcester to reconsider and carry out a new risk assessment on the bridge which has seen more than 43 incidents in the last ten years.

Coun Baker put the council’s refusal down to the cost which he estimated at £60,000, but added: “You can not put a price on life.

“This has been an issue for a long time. I have heard of two incidents of this nature in the time I have been a county councillor and something needs to be done.

“Not only is there a sad loss of life but it is also very traumatic for the people who witness these incidents.”

Coun Baker will be putting forward a motion to cage the bridge before a full meeting of Worcestershire County Council on Thursday (July 14).

However Coun John Smith OBE, cabinet member for Health and Well-being said: “The Health and Well-Being Board has been aware of concerns about this venue for some time.

“A Suicide Audit Group has met regularly to make sure that suicide numbers are monitored and any trends are identified.

“The numbers and rates of suicide remain stable in Worcestershire although every case is of course a tragedy for the family involved.

“Preventative measures such as signage giving details of the Samaritans and improved services for mental health and well-being have been put into place.

“This is the first incident of this kind, at this location for nearly four years, and we will await coroner’s investigations.”