Council bosses say they were surprised to see that couples have placed ‘love locks’ on Boston’s new footbridge but say they are happy to leave them there for now.
Last week it emerged that four locks had already been placed on the £750,000 St Botolph’s Bridge, which opened in February and spans the Haven between the police station and Stump.
The padlocks display the name of a couple and are a symbol of their love, with the keys typically thrown away as testament to an unbreakable bond, and have become common in places such as Paris and Cologne.
The locks have sparked controversy in several parts of the world - with some authorities not happy to have structures overtaken by the romantic symbols. In Dublin they were taken off Ha’penny Bridge, over the River Liffey, over fears they would cause lasting damage.
Richard Waters, principal structures engineer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “We were a little surprised when we heard about the locks, but as long as they don’t cause any damage to the bridge we’re happy to leave them there. Obviously if they do start become an issue we might have to remove them.”
The Paris craze has sparked a campaign against the locks, run by Lisa Taylor Huff and Lisa Anselmo.
They wrote a blog about how they were disgusted by the locks and how ugly the looked.
That attracted a lot of attention – going ‘viral’ – and sparked a website, Facebook page and petition with more than 6,000 signatures calling for the locks to be banned.
The pair say they feel the locks are ‘vandalism that defaces and damages public structures’.
Lisa Anselmo told The Standard: “Unless a structure is uniquely designed for this purpose, the trend will continue to impact local residents in a negative way because in its current incarnation it imposes itself on public spaces, confiscates the space for its own sake. And the weight of the locks can become an issue, too.
“It is far too damaging and feels like vandalism to too many people. You must draw a hard line if you really care about preservation.”
The ‘No Love Locks’ petition can be found at tinyurl.com/nll-petition-fr
The locks on Boston’s new footbridge have proved a big talking point - with readers split on the idea. Here’s a selection of your comments..
○ Website user Amy Houghton: I think its lovely to see. Makes a change from the usual graffiti and mess you get around. If its ok for Paris, its ok for Boston. :)
○ Matt King, on Facebook: Nice idea. Only in Boston would people find a reason to be negative/pessimistic about something that’s genuine and meaningful. I like it.
○ Daniel Clark, on Facebook: Is this not some sort of vandalism?
○ Lyndsey Evans, on Facebook: It’s quite a popular thing to do. When I was in Tuscany last year, there were loads of padlocks on the Ponte Vecchio
○ Rachel Hall, on Facebook: No doubt a ploy from a padlock company to make more money
○ Website user Johnboy9: They should be removed. It’s horrible to see!!
○ Website user ethlebert: Its not the lovelocks on the footbridge that bothers me, but as a wheel chair pusher its the gradient of the thing that’s a real problem, pushing up you need the legs and lungs of an athlete whilst going down the legs of an athlete plus the arms of a weight lifter, its quite exciting trying to hang on to the flipping thing without going into warp speed and avoid letting it go, although it must be really great for skateboarder’s who would probably finish up over the other side of the Market Place before being able to stop.
○ Stacey Parnham, on Twitter: I like it. I want to do one. You never know, people from other places may come to put one on, the town could be known for the love lock bridge.
○ The Boston Bridge, on Twitter: Not only am I a great-looking bridge, someone’s found love on me
○ Edward Spenceley, on Twitter: I like it - doesn’t hurt anyone and it’s a lot nicer than graffiti - with a nice thought behind it too
○ Twitter follower ‘CC’: In Boston? Oh come off it, Silted river isnt romantic Paris! Love the Bridge, but not rusty locks!
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