0m42The M42 and A38 were reopened at around 3pm this afternoon after being closed by police for 26 hours as they tried to negotiate a man off a bridge. Motorists are advised to expect some delays as things get back to normal.

The incident began at 12.45pm on Saturday (16th Nov) when police were called to a man who was on the wrong side of railings on a bridge over the M42 at Lickey End.

For the safety of those using the motorway, the M42 was closed between Junction 2 and the M5 interchange, trapping travellers already on the motorway for several hours. Those using the A38 island by The Forest Harvester pub at Lickey End also faced restrictions and diversions as negotiators spoke with the man.

As roads surrounding the area became gridlocked, many took to social networking sites to vent their frustrations, prompting Supt Kevin Purcell to comment: “We understand the frustration of the public, especially now that this episode has gone on for a number of hours.

“We are doing all we can to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, and are following national guidelines, while our number one priority is the protection of life.”

After remaining on the bridge overnight and into the afternoon, the man was finally brought safely over the railings and has been taken to hospital for a full assessment.

Insensitive comments on Twitter using the #M42 hashtag were challenged by West Midlands Police’s Insp Michael Brown (@MentalHealthCop) and other twitter users, prompting many offensive tweets to be deleted.

Insp Brown tweeted: “Some fairly awful stuff on Twitter tonight about #M42 – if you’re affected by reading it, be sure to talk to someone. @samaritans are 24/7”

He also wrote: “I accept difficulties around the inconvenience caused, BUT — comments on the #M42 incident reveal much about attitudes to mental distress.” and went on to challenge many of the negative comments being posted.

Assistant Chief Constable for West Mercia and Warwickshire Police, Gareth Morgan, also felt moved to tweet his frustration with the negative comments.

The man has been taken to hospital and we hope he gets all the help and support he needs. Well done to West Mercia Police and all involved in the safe resolution of this incident. Thanks also to West Mercia Police for so effectively keeping the public informed.

If you are affected by the weekend’s events and need someone to talk to, The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 8457 90 90 90 email jo@samaritans.org or visit their website

Image by @kells_ingram on twitter


  1. i wonder will there be an open and transparent review of what happened and why it took so long to resolve? Then all those who were affected can understand how well it was handled?
    If not then the police leave them sleves open to deserved public criticism.
    I think this incident is on the larger scale not about mental health of one poor citizen, but about police handling and the subsequent disruption to 1,000 and 1,000 of citizens. Many peaople will remember the M6 hold ups of 3years ago when a guy climbed up a pylon and the outcome was just as the m42..so have anty lessons been l;earnt??


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