An online petition urging the statutory authorities to raise the safety barriers on the Foyle Bridge as a practical suicide prevention measure has attracted over 8,000 signatures - around eight per cent of the entire population of the city.
The petition, which has been launched on the Change.org online lobbying platform, had received 8,124 supporters as the ‘Journal’ went to press on Monday.
The petitioners signed only as ‘Derry Residents’, state: “We don’t care how much it costs: raise the height of the railings on the Foyle Bridge, Derry.
“We need the railing height raised on the Foyle Bridge and, if possible, all three bridges in Derry.
“The city has lost too many lives.”
The petition was launched five months ago and has been addressed to the now defunct Derry City Council, which was succeeded by Derry City and Strabane District Council two years ago.
Although the local authority has cross-statutory involvement in suicide prevention in Derry, responsibility for the Foyle Bridge principally lies with TransportNI, which has clearly indicated raising the height of the barriers would be too costly within current budgets.
Raising the barriers would also involve engineering testing, wind tunnel testing, substantive bridge assessment and design and construction costs, all of which have been deemed too expensive.
The Lifeline helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day. Anyone of any age living in the North can call the Lifeline helpline for free on 0808 808 8000 if they are experiencing distress or despair.
At Lifeline you can talk to a professionally trained counsellor who will listen, give help and support, in confidence.