COUNCIL bosses have promised to look at installing a cage over ‘dangerous’ Queensway bridge after mounting pressure from campaigners.

The leader of Southend Council, Ian Gilbert, said he would immediately investigate the safety measures at the bridge, which saw the tragic death of Chris Nota, 19, on July 7.

Chris’s family and thousands across Southend have signed a petition calling for a cage, which are used for railway bridges in the borough.

However, if a cage was introduced it would be an interim measure before the bridge is removed as part of the huge Queensway development plans, which could start next year.

At a full council meeting on Thursday evening, Matt Dent , Labour councillor for the Kursaal ward, pushed Ian Gilbert for a response to the ever-growing demand for more to be done to protect those struggling with their mental health.

Mr Dent told the Echo there needs to be a short term and long term solution, saying: “The concern is a very real one.

“A cage would work, but there might be other options that could be found as part of the investigation.

“We also need more investment into our mental health services.

“When someone reaches their breaking point, there isn’t anywhere for them to turn.

“The services have been cut to the bone.”

Mr Gilbert, added: “We will investigate this and report back to councillors. It’s a worry.

“A cage has been proposed but we need to look at what’s appropriate. They are used on railway bridges already.

“If a cage or a measure is introduced, we are not sure how long it will be needed for.

“We hope to start the Queensway project next year, but it’s a huge process. The detail on how long the interim period is is not 100 per cent yet.”

A touching memorial to the 19-year-old was held on Wednesday.

Loved ones held up balloons which spelt out Chris’ name before releasing them into the air.

Chris, who had learning disabilities and autism, had been in and out of mental health units since childhood.

The petition states: “The bridge is dangerous and it has been involved in many incidents. This young man’s passing has largely affected our community as it could of been prevented.”