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Highways England stops publishing Annual Suicide Reports less than two years into scheme

An initiative to show the work Highways England puts in to preventing suicide has been stopped after one year.

Two years ago the authority responsible for Kent's motorways and major A roads vowed to create annual reports identifying the work it could carry out to prevent suicides.

Around 50 people take their own lives on the country's roads each year
Around 50 people take their own lives on the country's roads each year

The first report came out in 2018, but with its second report now overdue, the scheme has been pulled.

A Highways England spokesman said: "There is no intention to produce any more specific suicide prevention annual reports. However, we will include a contribution about this in the Annual Report and Accounts, as before."

Around 50 people take their own lives on the country's roads each year.

People have taken their lives from bridges across Tracey Crouch's constituency of Chatham and Aylesford.

The Conservative MP wrote to Highways England earlier this year, suggesting there could be better provisions at certain sites on the road network.

Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch
Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch

Reacting to today's news, Ms Crouch said: "While I can sort of understand why Highways England may not wish to publish the reports any more, I will be seeking reassurance that they are collecting the data.

"It is important all agencies work together to prevent suicides and that includes Highways England."

The highways authority has worked with Samaritans to place more than 500 crisis boards at 100 "priority" locations nationwide.

It's Annual Report and Accounts from this year states: "We support those affected by suicide and work across our company to destigmatise mental health issues. We are members of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance and work closely with regional stakeholders, such as local authorities and the NHS, to identify broader interventions."

KentOnline is publishing a series of articles for National Suicide Prevention Day:

Read more: All the latest news from Malling.

If you're struggling please contact Samaritans on 116 123.

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