Concern over Briton Ferry M4 and A48 bridge fall deaths

Related Stories

Concerns have been raised about the number of people falling to their deaths at two neighbouring bridges in Neath Port Talbot.

One councillor said the number of deaths involving the A48 and M4 bridges at Briton Ferry was increasing.

A 20-year-old man died after falling from the A48 bridge in the early hours of New Year's Day.

Town and county councillor Hugh James said safety improvements such as higher barriers should be considered.

Start Quote

It's a concern for me as a local councillor and it seems to be on the increase”

End Quote Coun Hugh James Town and county councillor

He said there had been several incidents in the past 18 months and he feared the frequency was increasing.

"We've had a few over the years but in the last 18 months or two years there's a pattern... with younger people on both bridges," he said.

"It's a concern for me as a local councillor and it seems to be on the increase."

In August, a 36-year-old man died after falling from the A48 bridge into the River Neath, while a 33-year-old man died in February.

There have been several incidents in previous years and Mr James said other tragedies had been prevented by the intervention of police.

He said it had been previously suggested that barbed wire or barriers could be erected as a safety measure.

As the bridges are part of the motorway and trunk road network, this would be the responsibility of the Welsh government.

He said other action that could be taken included putting signs on the bridges showing helpline numbers.

'Remove the stigma'

A Welsh government spokesperson said the bridge was similar to others in Wales.

He said: "The parapet height is such that accidental falls are extremely unlikely but sadly all bridges present an opportunity for suicides.

"Eliminating this risk would require a substantial amount of work in raising the parapet and strengthening the edge of the bridge.

"Our national action plan - Talk to Me - is designed to raise awareness of suicide and self-harm and encourage people to talk more about their problems to remove the stigma that is associated with emotional and mental health problems."

More on This Story

Related Stories

BBC South West Wales

Weather

Swansea

Min. Night 9 °C

Features

  • Two sphinxes guarding the entrance to the tombTomb mystery

    Secrets of ancient burial site keep Greeks guessing


  • The chequeBig gamble

    How does it feel to bet £900,000 on the Scottish referendum?


  • Tattooed person using tabletRogue ink

    People who lost their jobs because of their tattoos


  • Deepika PadukoneBeauty and a tweet

    Bollywood cleavage row shows India's 'crass' side


  • Relief sculpture of MithrasRoman puzzle

    How to put London's mysterious underground temple back together


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.