THESE are the first images of safety barriers being installed on the Erskine Bridge in a bid to prevent further tragedies.

Work, which will last around nine months, is now under way to erect the high barrier.

It comes almost two years after Helensburgh teenager Neve Lafferty, 15, and Georgia Rowe, 14, from Hull, jumped from the bridge in an apparent suicide pact.

Since then, calls have been made for action to be taken to prevent any more suicides from the bridge.

Last year 36 people took their lives after jumping off the bridge.

It is hoped the £1.3 million project will help to prevent further tragedies.

Roads firm Amey is replacing bridge parapets to improve safety.

The new parapets will nearly 8ft high and curve inwards at the top.

The new safety barriers will be installed overnight and at weekends, with single lane closures, as well as the closure of the footpath and cycle lanes, while the work is carried out.

Walkers and cyclists will be able to use the opposite side of the carriageway at these times

A spokeswoman said: "Occasional off-peak daytime, overnight and weekend single-lane closures will be required for removals and deliveries. During this time, disruption to motorists is expected to be minimal.

"One footpath and cycle lane will require to be closed throughout the works

"However, walkers and cyclists can continue to cross the Erskine Bridge via the footpaths and cycle paths on the opposite side of the carriageway.

"Clear signage will be in place to direct walkers and cyclists to the other side."

Teenagers Neve Lafferty and Georgia Rowe were both residents at the Good Shepherd care centre in Bishopton when they died.

In the days following the tragedy, then MSP Trish Godman – a former social worker who had once worked at the Good Shepherd Home –raised the idea of barriers in the Scottish Parliament.

Describing the bridge's current barriers as "scarily low", Ms Godman – who retired from political life this year – said: "I impress upon the first minister the urgent need to increase the height of the barriers along the bridge's walkways.

"The barriers are scarily low. Research shows that suicide barriers are a deterrent."

First Minister Alex Salmond responded by saying that "any lessons that are to be learned will be acted on quickly without delay."

In February 2010, the Samaritans charity installed eight new signs listing their contact number at the Erskine Bridge, in the hope would-be suicides would make contact.

They were erected in partnership with Renfrewshire Council, transport police and Amey.

deborah.anderson@ eveningtimes.co.uk