Love­locks to be picked off bridge

Claims memo­ri­als are‘dam­ag­ing’foot­bridge

Perthshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Rachel Clark

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.

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