It’s break-up time for love locks festooned to a Matlock bridge – and couples will be told not to bother in future.
Signs have been displayed near the bridge in Hall Leys Park for the past few months warning lovers that their symbolic padlocks will be removed for essential maintenance.
But this week, Derbyshire Dales District Council has said the locks will cut off imminently so the bridge can be re-painted and maintained.
A spokesperson for the authority said: “While recognising that padlocks on bridges can have a very personal background story, we don’t ask people to attach locks to the bridges we maintain and unfortunately can’t take responsibility for ensuring personal items stay there for any length of time.
“In this case, the locks have been attached to the main structure of the bridge in Hall Leys Park, and there is no way of removing them other than to break them. The bridge needs to be maintained and we cannot work around the locks, so sadly this is the only option.”
The craze of love locks, which is believed to have started in France, involves lovers signing their initials on a padlock, locking it to a bridge and then throwing the key into the river.
The council spokesperson added: “We will of course keep the items safe should anyone wish to claim a lock they recognise... Permanent signs will be erected following the maintenance work advising that any locks subsequently fixed to the structure will be removed.”
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get your lock back.