Barton-upon-Humber

New CCTV and a well-being hub for people seeking help are among the improvements at the Humber Bridge as the footpaths and cycleways reopened on Thursday.

They had been closed for more than a month in an emergency move after six people, including a teenage girl from Willerby near Hull, lost their lives at the bridge between March 3 and April 3 this year.

New CCTV has been installed and the paths on either side of the bridge will be open between 5am and 9pm every day. Pedestrians and cyclists who intend to cross must also register with the bridge board beforehand, according to Labour MP Emma Hardy.

Specially trained mental health volunteers will patrol the area and the new well-being hub in the country park will provide a place for people to seek help.

Staff from Lincolnshire charity Bearded Fishermen will walk over the bridge to support people during the evenings between 7.30 to 9.30pm.

Hull and East Yorkshire MIND will be working in the hub and also going around the park talking to people.

It is estimated that over 200 people were reported to have jumped or fallen from the bridge, with only five survivors, in the first 26 years since its opening.

The father of a young man who lost his life previously said more needed to be done to prevent suicides in the area, but closing the footpath was not the answer.

Almost 10,000 people signed a petition to improve safety measures at the bridge. Those who backed the campaign called for more physical safety measures such as barriers.

Cycle UK Has also been campaigning for action over the closure of the bridge to pedestrians and cyclists since it was closed in April.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK head of campaigns, said: “For over a month the Humber Bridge has been closed to all pedestrians and anyone cycling save for those commuter cyclists who managed to get through a cumbersome registration process, so a partial reopening tomorrow is welcome progress.

“But the tragic loss of life along the bridge has been a chronic problem for over a decade, requiring investment in long term infrastructure and intervention measures, whilst banning people on foot or a bike from crossing the bridge was only ever a kneejerk reaction which didn’t address the causes or long-term solutions.

“Cycling UK hopes that the Humber Bridge Board will at last recognise the importance of maintaining cycle and pedestrian access while improving suicide prevention measures, and if they must have a registration system for people to cross, make it simple, easily accessible, with registration and other restrictions being time-limited rather than permanent.”

If you have been affected by the themes in this story, or if you feel you need help, please visit the Samaritans website here. 

The footpaths on the Humber Bridge will reopen on Thursday, May 6, after a month-long closure.

As reported previously, the Humber Bridge Board made the decision to close the paths on April 3 after a number of suicides.

As well as installing extra CCTV cameras, a new ‘wellbeing hub’ will be opened at the site, staffed by specialist mental health and wellbeing volunteers.

Extra signage will also be placed along the walkway.

Labour MP Emma Hardy told BBC Look North the paths on either side would be open between 5am and 9pm every day.

Pedestrians and cyclists who intend to cross must also register with the bridge board beforehand.

“The Humber Bridge is an iconic and beautiful structure, loved by many and I know how upset people were when the walkway had to close,” she said.

Six people, including a teenage girl from Willerby near Hull, lost their lives at the bridge between March 3 and April 3 this year, and it is estimated that over 200 people have died there since the bridge opened.

Almost 10,000 people have now signed a petition to improve safety measures at the bridge. Those who have backed the campaign, have called for more physical safety measures such as barriers.

If you have been affected by the themes in this story, or if you feel you need help, please visit the Samaritans website here. 

Police are on the look out for a 28-year-old man, who they wish to speak to in connection with a number of recent violent incidents in Barton.

Humberside Police detectives have carried out extensive enquiries to locate Johnathan West, who is otherwise known as Johny/Johnlee, but have yet to find him.

West is thought to be in the North East Lincolnshire area and police are now asking for the public’s help to locate him.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts, or who has seen him in the locality, should call Humberside Police on 101 quoting log 476 of April 8.

Alternatively, it can also be reported through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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