Wirral bridge undergoes improvement to prevent suicides



A NOTORIOUS Merseyside bridge has had its sides raised to prevent suicides.

Two people fell to their deaths in November 2007 and May 2008 at Wheatland Lane, which crosses over the entrance to the Mersey Tunnel in Wallasey.

On other occasions people have disrupted traffic but been successfully talked down.

Now after pleas from a local councillor on behalf of a devastated woman who witnessed one of the deaths, Merseytravel has completed £10,000 of improvements to make climbing over the sides more difficult.

Mum-of-two Karen Hamilton, 38, returned to the bridge for the first time last week, having watched a man fall to his death in November 2007.

She said: “I was crossing when I saw a man coming and the next thing I knew he was straddling the railings.

“I didn’t know what he was doing and the next thing he was facing the traffic with his arms behind him.

“I was quite close to the kerb and saw him release one hand, drop something over the railing and then he stepped off.

“I can’t remember a lot after that. I was so badly shocked it affected my sleep and I haven’t been able to set foot on there since.

“It’s so sad. I spoke to Cllr Dennis Knowles and he got in contact with Merseytravel which is responsible for the bridge.

“It’s tragic for the family and I don’t want this to happen again. Hopefully these changes to the bridge will make it a lot harder to do.”

Cllr Knowles said: “I’m pleased that the work has been done. I was approached by residents who said aside from the actual suicides there had been a number of attempts. Apart from the obvious loss for relatives seeing something like this can be very traumatic. At that point I was still on the Merseytravel board and I put the case forward for improvements.

“We’re very grateful to the general manager of Merseytravel Frank Rogers for his help.

“Hopefully there will be no more tragedies here.”

THE ECHO