A MUM-OF-TWO has told of the dramatic moment she talked down a young man from a motorway bridge as he threatened to kill himself.

Leanne Preston, 38, has now started a petition to get the bridge made safe so troubled people cannot access it.

Miss Preston, from Knuzden, said: “On Saturday as I was driving home over Stanhill when I noticed a young lad looking quite distraught on the bridge.

“I stopped and talked to him until the police arrived.

“There as been a number of incidents on this bridge over the years with one death that I’m aware of.”

Miss Preston said that by petitioning the Highways Agency to look into the safety of the bridge, they will hopefully make the barriers higher or erect a taller fence.

She added: “I’m also aware that children are also throwing stones over on to passing cars.

“The local park is right next to this bridge and it only takes one child to climb and fall.”

The bridge in question is above the M65 at Knuzden, close to junction six.

On Wednesday, police attended a similar incident that closed the M65 in both directions for a number of hours, after they had received a ‘concern for welfare call’.

Oswaldtwistle councillor Glen Harrison, has visited the bridge and says the barriers are too low to prevent people using it as a suicide hotspot.

He is supporting Miss Preston’s petition and is urging others to get behind her.

Posting on social media, Cllr Harrison said: “There has again been further issues regards the height of the fence over this bridge at Knuzden.

“From suicide attempts to youths throwing stones from above at moving traffic.

“Please join my campaign alongside residents to have this fence made higher to safeguard future incidents by signing and sharing the petition.”

County councillor, Peter Britcliffe, said he had contacted Lancashire County Council but had been told the bridge met the current health and safety standards.

He said: “This is an area young people are tempted to come, for whatever reason, and their consequences would not only be devastating for them and their families but for motorists using the motorway too.

“It’s vital that we act as quickly as possible to prevent a tragedy from happening.”

A spokesperson for the Highways Agency, which manages the bridge, said: “We take this very sensitive issue extremely seriously and are constantly monitoring our motorways and major A roads for emerging issues.

“Our motorways and bridges are, by their nature, open to almost everyone but if an issue with a particular location has been identified we look to work with agencies such as health bodies, local authorities and the Samaritans to consider appropriate interventions.

“These may or may not involve an engineering solution; for example it is not always possible to make structural alterations to bridges.

“On a day-to-day basis, our motorway network is monitored around the clock by our traffic officers at our regional operations centre at Newton-le-Willows in Merseyside and we work closely with the emergency services to ensure a quick response to and prevention of incidents involving people on carriageways or on motorway over-bridges.”

To support the petition, visit change.org/p/highways-agency-to-make-the-motorway-bridge-more-safe