A PETITION has been launched to put a cage over a “dangerous” bridge in Southend following the death of 19-year-old Chris Nota.

The proposal, by Chris’ school pal, Millie Holmes, has already received the backing of 2,000 people in just two days.

The 19-year-old died after falling into Southend Queensway underpass on Tuesday, July 7.

An inquest has not yet been held but Chris’ family say he had previously tried to take his own life.

Pal Millie, 19, from Southchurch, said: “I am aiming for change in the mental health support here in Southend.

Southend Standard:

The Southend Queensway underpass

Firstly, I am petitioning for protection at the Queensway bridge as it’s clear Chris is not the only one who has died at that bridge.

"Putting a cage in place could help save individuals who may be considering taking their own lives, allowing for someone to intervene.

“It would also protect pedestrians and vehicles – I can’t imagine how they felt having to witness what happened.”

Millie and Chris’ friends and family are campaigning for more to be done to support young people with mental health issues.

The former Cecil Jones High School pupil added: “We are campaigning for a better support system as Chris was ignored and not given the right help they needed.


“So many people who have felt they haven’t had sufficient help.

“I am so grateful for the response to the petition. It makes me feel people have been wanting this for a while and how much of a problem it is here.”

Millie says she and Chris’ family have been seeking help from MPs and councillors and children’s mental health services but she says their requests have been largely ignored.

Southend councillor Matt Dent, however, has pledged to look into the matter.

She added: “Chris’ mum pleaded for so much help and she was ignored. People who are struggling should be taken more seriously.

“We want to see more preventions against suicide in Southend and see more support for young people and to see it taught in schools, making people more aware and breaking the stigma around mental health.”

Southend Standard:

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.”

Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, capital and inward investment, said he was “deeply saddened” after Chris’ death, adding: “We are aware of the petition that has been started and we will of course listen to any concerns. We also await the police report and will take appropriate action as necessary.”

Click here to view the petition.