As we all know, Archway Bridge has a terrible reputation and over many years there have been proposals to reduce suicides here. Haringey, the planning authority responsible, has regularly put the matter to one side. However, they are now proposing to add a perimeter security fence, plus cages over the lamps.
Unfortunately, this seems unlikely to work because the horizontal parts will function as a ladder to climb. And the appearance of a high security zone immediately over the Archway Road will entrench the sense of a troubled area.
Importantly, there has been no local consultation except for a meeting more than year ago including the Highgate Society and TfL but no-one from Archway or the Whittington Hospital Mental Health Unit. Further consultation was requested, as well as evidence of effectiveness, but Haringey said that would not be possible because the matter was urgent. That was 15 months ago.
Now Haringey appears to have simply dusted off that same proposal, reported to have been rejected 10 years ago, and is putting that forward as the easiest option.
There are better alternatives such as a fence inside the existing railings, as on the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and vertical railings above the existing parapets, curved over the pavement at the top (less reminiscent of prisons), and only tied together at the top, so removing any ‘ladder’.
The issue is complicated but the current proposal looks like one which will only make matters worse. Representatives from not just TfL, Haringey and Islington but emergency services, mental health trusts, the coroner's office, and more than one local residents group are needed to consider all the options and decide on the most effective solution.
To seek that please write – deadline 26th February - to: Islington:email@example.com
quoting planning reference P2014/5019/LBC copying councillors firstname.lastname@example.org
and in Haringey:email@example.com
(quoting planning reference HGY/2014/3527) copying councillors firstname.lastname@example.org
. (Better Archway Forum)