September 22nd, 2016

Redditch mental health group backs Highway bridge campaign

Redditch mental health group backs Highway bridge campaign Redditch mental health group backs Highway bridge campaign
Updated: 10:14 am, Jul 08, 2016

A MENTAL health organisation in Redditch is backing the campaign the get the Muskets Way bridge over the Bromsgrove Highway caged off.

The Mental Health Action Group (MHAG) was founded in 2012 following two deaths at the same location after a meeting between community leaders showed an increased need for services for mental illness in the town.

This new incident comes almost exactly four years after the deaths of Richard Need and Lee Laight who lost their lives at the same spot.

After the two tragedies, which happened in less than a month, a campaign was launched to have the bridge made safer without success.

A petition started by the men’s family members received 137 signatures but was not enough to sway the county Council to implement any changes which many believe may have prevented Sunday’s incident.

Harriet Ernstsons-Evans, chair of the Redditch Mental Health Action Group, said: “It is tragic another incident has happened which could so easily have been avoided had the county council listened years ago when they were warned of the issues at that location.

“Taking action at the bridge is only part of the solution – but it is an important part. National best practice states locations should be made safer once there have been a number of incidents there.

“The county council need to urgently reverse their decision not to take action at the bridge. How many lives need to be lost before they think it’s important enough to consider? There is a financial cost to caging the bridge but there is a very real human cost in terms of the lives lost and the impact on loved ones and witnesses.”

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