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Humber Bridge walkways to reopen to pedestrians and cyclists tomorrow

People on foot and bikes, including commuters, will be able to use bridge from 0500-2100 daily

Walkways on the Humber Bridge will reopen tomorrow, according to a local Member of Parliament, enabling people who cross it on foot or by bike, including to get to and from work, to enjoy full access again.

On 3 April and with no notice, the bridge’s owners and operators, The Humber Bridge Board, blocked access to the walkways following several suicides in the preceding weeks.

While the decision to close the walkways was understandable given the circumstances, there was criticism over no alternative arrangements being put in place, with the only alternative road route to cross the estuary involving a 60-mile detour.

Limited access was subsequently restored in mid-April, but as Cycling UK noted, it was not clear how the system worked, nor was there any mention of it on the bridge’s website, and Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy asked for clarification on whether people needed to register to use such a service.

In a Facebook post this morning, Hardy confirmed that the bridge’s walkways would reopen daily from 5am to 9pm. People wanting access outside those times will need to contact the Humber Bridge Board.

🔥🔥Good News!🔥🔥 As you know, I’ve been meeting with the Chair of the Humber Bridge Board weekly since the walkway was...

Posted by Emma Hardy MP on Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Cycling UK’s head of campaigns Duncan Dollimore 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 re-opening 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 knee jerk 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 whilst 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,” he added.

The Samaritans website contains advice to people who are struggling with their mental health on how they can obtain help.

The charity’s advisors can be contacted at any time on the free telephone number 116 123, or via email tojo [at] samaritans.org "> jo [at] samaritans.org with a response time of 24 hours.

It has also developed a self-help app that enables users to “Keep track of how you're feeling, and get recommendations for things you can do to help yourself cope, feel better and stay safe in a crisis.”

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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6 comments

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brooksby | 2 years ago
1 like

Erm - so what suicide prevention measures have they now put in place, that it's suddenly safe again to open the walkways?  Surely they've done something, after all that?

Avatar
Woldsman replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:

Erm - so what suicide prevention measures have they now put in place, that it's suddenly safe again to open the walkways?  Surely they've done something, after all that?

"...A new well-being hub is being installed with specialist mental health volunteers & more CCTV."

https://mobile.twitter.com/DaveHarrisonBBC/status/1389822851662888961

 

Avatar
brooksby replied to Woldsman | 2 years ago
0 likes
Woldsman wrote:
brooksby wrote:

Erm - so what suicide prevention measures have they now put in place, that it's suddenly safe again to open the walkways?  Surely they've done something, after all that?

"...A new well-being hub is being installed with specialist mental health volunteers & more CCTV."

https://mobile.twitter.com/DaveHarrisonBBC/status/1389822851662888961

<face/palm> 

Avatar
AlsoSomniloquism replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
3 likes

Any reason for the face palm on that news? If they have onsite specialists and more chance to see someone contemplating self harm in response to reopening the access, what is the problem? Yes long term they could and should do more but if lives are saved AND there is less impact on normal usage then surely that is a good thing. The worry is going to be covering the hours with enough volunteers I suspect. 

Avatar
Jetmans Dad replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
2 likes

And for all we know, this reopening is in keeping with the board's stated desire to reopen the walkways as soon as possible, and there are further measures to come. 

These were just seen as a suitable first step sufficient to at least get them open again. 

Avatar
brooksby replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago
1 like

I guess IMO that was something that they could have arranged at pretty short notice.

Didn't need to have the bridge walkways closed for a month.

And I'm not sure that having a "well-being hub" would particularly help someone who was intending to use the bridge in their suicide...

Are the volunteers going to approach everyone who walks onto the bridge, or are they expecting that someone in such a state of emotional extremity is going to think to themselves, "You know what, I think I'll go and talk to that well meaning stranger over there by the portakabin labelled 'Well-being hub' instead"?

Sorry, I know I'm, being a bit cynical and all, but still...

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