After a huge amount of public reaction, Nelson City Council has made a u-turn and decided the love locks on the Collingwood St bridge can stay.
The council announced the u-turn today, just three days after news of their demise was made public in an article in the Nelson Weekly.
Love locks first appeared on Nelson’s Collingwood St bridge two years ago and as of last week there was more than 30 of the padlocks attached to the fence surrounding the bridge’s walkways. But the council says they could cause corrosion so they cut down.
The padlocks are locked into place by people to declare their love for each other and often have names or initials written on them. After the padlock is attached to a fence, bridge or other public structure the key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable love.
The practice is a century old but has gained in popularity since the turn of the millennium, especially in Europe and Asia.
Nelson City Council says the change was made in light of the community response in favour of the locks. “So the council is happy to allow the practise to continue but will monitor the situation and may have to remove locks in future if they become problematic or cause any extra maintenance on the bridge. We’ve fleshed out a few guidelines that we will be monitoring to help keep the love locks manageable.”
Conditions to them staying include them not being attached to the bridge itself, only the netting surrounding the fence, they can’t become so numerous that they cause the netting to sag and they can’t stick out and interfere with passersby.
Read more in Tuesday’s Nelson Weekly.