Increased safety measures at North Bridge held up by red tape, say council

North Bridge, Halifax.
North Bridge, Halifax.

The historic nature of Halifax's North Bridge is delaying the implementation of safety measures that could save lives.

A Calderdale Council official confirmed that whilst the authority is doing all they can to ensure safety measures are increased along the bridge, red tape is likely to prevent them from doing so for another five months.

CCTV cameras have been installed at the North Bridge site.

CCTV cameras have been installed at the North Bridge site.

Plans to build a two-metre parapet along the bridge were confirmed at an inquest in November into the death of 11-year-old schoolgirl Ursula Keogh, who died at the site early last year. Other preventative measures were also discussed.

READ: Verdict reached into death of 'bright and sensitive' Halifax schoolgirl Ursula Keogh

The installation of CCTV cameras was completed before Christmas, along with signage alerting the public to these cameras, at the request of Ursula's family.

Tributes were paid over the weekend in memory of 24-year-old Amy Fitzgerald, who was tragically found dead at the site on Friday December 28.

Calderdale Council’s Assistant Director - Strategic Infrastructure, Steven Lee, said:

“We take the issue of suicide very seriously and we want to do all we can to prevent it.

“North Bridge is Grade II listed, meaning that it’s of special architectural or historic interest. We have already applied for listed building consent to enable us to install permanent preventative measures on the structure."

“We are currently looking at a range of options, including measures to reduce accessibility to the parapets. Before Christmas we installed a new CCTV camera, with additional signage to advise that the bridge is under CCTV surveillance.

“We anticipate that overall, the improvements to North Bridge will be completed by the end of May, although we are currently looking at ways to complete sooner.”

READ: Community calls for funding into mental health services in wake of tragic death of Halifax schoolgirl