Love locks removal plan on Derbyshire bridge postponed by council

Plans to remove about 10,000 love locks from a Derbyshire footbridge will not be carried out for at least another year.

By Tim Paget
Friday, 7th January 2022, 5:11 pm
Updated Friday, 7th January 2022, 5:25 pm

Campaigners have welcomed news the padlocks on Weir Bridge, Bakewell, are safe after the postponement was confirmed by Derbyshire County Council.

Last year, the authority said it needed to carry out routine maintenance on the bridge over the River Wye.

And to carry out the work, bosses said they needed to remove all the locks and not allow any more to be attached in the future.

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Plans to remove about 10,000 love locks from a footbridge at Bakewell will not be carried out for at least another year. Image: Michael Hardy.

This sparked an angry response from residents in the Derbyshire Dales town – and the thousands of people who have left locks on the bridge.

Richard Young, who set up the Save the Love Locks at Bakewell Facebook page to campaign for the locks to remain in the town, confirmed the postponement and said he would now be requesting further meetings with council officials.

People have joined the group to share their own connections to the bridge.

Derbyshire County Council has issued a statement which says no work will be done until 2023.

Plans to remove about 10,000 love locks from a footbridge at Bakewell will not be carried out for at least another year. Image: Michael Hardy.

"We need to carry out some routine maintenance on the bridge and would need to remove the locks to do this work,” a spokesperson said.

"However while the work is needed, it is not urgent and won’t take place until 2023.

"We will need to work up plans for what we do with the locks, but this won’t happen until nearer the time, when we would give people the chance to collect their locks.

"In view of this we have asked for a meeting with the various authorities to work through all the options for the love locks."

Mr Young says the delay will give people more time to plan what to do and that if the locks have to be removed that a suitable alternative solution is found – although he would prefer them to be left there.

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 from 2012 onwards.