Lovelocks to be picked off bridge
Claims memorials are‘damaging’footbridge
Lovelocks on a popular Perthshire footbridge are to be taken down by the council.
Perth and Kinross Council has announced its staff will remove the padlocks left by couples from Pitlochry’s suspension bridge, starting next week.
Over the years, romantic couples and those who have lost loved ones have left padlocks inscribed with their names on the Port-na-Craig footbridge, which runs over the River Tummel in front of the iconic Pitlochry Dam.
But, from Monday, November 12, council staff will remove them as they say the objects are damaging the bridge and becoming a hazard for pedestrians.
A spokesperson for the local authority said: “The work is being carried out as the extent of the padlocks is now such that it is preventing full inspection of the bridge and its structural elements.
“They are also causing damage to the bridge paintwork leading to rusting of steel sections, as well as posing a potential snagging hazard for pedestrians.
“The removal of the locks and touch-ups to the bridge paintwork are expected to be completed, weather permitting, by Thursday, November 22.
“Port-na-Craig footbridge will remain open to the public at all times during the lock removal and painting works.
“Additionally, signs will be erected at either end of the bridge advising that any lovelocks placed on the bridge in future will be removed, for the reasons stated above.”
The work to remove the padlocks and paint the crossing will mean four car parking spaces in the Tummel Crescent car park will be closed off and the area will be fenced off.
Sheena Brennan, who works in Pitlochry Hardware Store where many people buy their lovelocks, said she will be sorry to see them go.
She said: “I think that is a shame because we supply them and lend people an engraver to put their messages on.
“A lot of people come in and it means something personal to them, so it is a shame if they are to take them down.
“It is not polluting the river because they are closed locks – once the lock is closed, that is it.
“And I am quite sure people are not walking along the edge of the bridge so close they will catch themselves on them – that is just an excuse.
“It is a jobsworth who says ‘it doesn’t look good, so let’s get rid of them’.
“People come to put them up for relatives they have lost and children who have died – all sorts of reasons.
“I don’t think that is good and I’m very sorry to hear that.”
She said an alternative should be put up for people who want to leave lovelocks along the river bank.
Sheena continued: “If they have to remove them, they should put up a fence for people to put their locks on.
The lovelocks on the footbridge
“An alternative should be offered because it is a long river bank, and something like that would also act as a safety barrier.”
Once the lovelocks are removed, they will be stored in Pitlochry Library for four weeks for people to retrieve them.