Anger over plan to remove popular 'love locks' from Derbyshire footbridge
Plans to remove thousands of 'love locks' from a Derbyshire footbridge which needs maintenance work has sparked outrage.
Bakewell’s Weir Bridge has become a popular spot for people to remember loved ones they have lost, and dates of weddings or engagements – with padlocks being left on the crossing over the River Wye from 2012 onwards.
However, Derbyshire County Council says it needs to remove the locks to carry out routine maintenance on the bridge.
Bakewell residents and people who have left their own mementos on the bridge reacted angrily to the proposals.
Richard Young, who has set up Facebook group Save the Love Locks at Bakewell, said no alternative has been found for the love locks.
“Love them or hate them, love locks started appearing in 2012 and since then many people have attached love locks to the bridge, not only lovers and friends and newly married couples but if you look carefully you will see tributes to dear departed relatives and the names of still born children,” he posted.
“The love locks on Bakewell bridge are about to removed in order to carry out maintenance to the bridge however after completion no more love locks will be allowed to be attached.
"This is not the issue, the problem is that no provision has been made for an alternative structure for love locks and no definite plan for the unclaimed love locks which have been removed.”
People have joined the group to share their own connections to the bridge.
Jan Rogers posted: “My sister and her husband loved Bakewell, they both passed away within a few short weeks of each other in 2016.
“There is a padlock in memory to them on the bridge.”
A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We need to carry out some routine maintenance on the bridge and would need to remove the locks to do this work.
“However while the work is needed, it is not urgent, so we are in discussions with Bakewell Town Council and Derbyshire Dales District Council about the work, and what to do with the padlocks after they have been removed.
“No decisions have been taken yet and we will do all we can to promote the work to give people a chance to collect their locks.”