A COUNCIL has backed calls for safety improvements at a ‘danger spot’ bridge over the M65 after two suicide attempts in four days.

Councillors from Hyndburn will write to Highways England calling for low handrails on the flyover, between junctions five and six near Knuzden, to be raised.

St Oswald’s ward councillor Glen Harrison was contacted by a resident of his ward, Leanne Preston. In April, she talked down a man seeking to take his own life from the bridge parapet just four days after another man had attempted to do the same.

She has now raised more than 500 signatures for petition to Highways England calling for action.

Cllr Harrison's motion, which was passed unanimously by Hyndburn's Full Council meeting last week reads: "The bridge on Stanhill Rd over the M65 motorway had two suicide attempts in four days.

"A multitude of incidents have occurred at that location since the bridge was first constructed including youths throwing stones at oncoming traffic.

"Shockingly Highways England believe the railings at this bridge meet the required safety standards.

"We resolve to write to Highways England, recommending that works take place to raise the railings around this bridge which is yards from a children’s play area."

The move follows Oswaldtwistle county councillor Peter Britcliffe raising the issue with Highways England and Lancashire County Council roads boss Cllr Keith Iddon.

The flyover has raised safety concerns because of its low handrail since it was built in 1997.

There have been several incidents of individuals threatening to jump off it with one tragically fatal incident in November 2003.

Cllr Harrison said: I have received an answer from Highways England which is as clear as mud.

"It talks about raising handrails on bridges in the North-West but says nothing about doing anything at this bridge.

"Action needs to be taken. It is dangerous."

Cllr Britcliffe said: “I am pleased Hyndburn Council has backed this motion. The more support for raising this handrail the better.

"I know the county council has raised this with Highways England which is reviewing the safety of bridges across the North-West."

Hyndburn council leader Cllr Miles Parkinson said: "This is an important issue. We have allocated money to put up notices on the bridge signposting people feeling desperate to The Samaritans."