Fair warning… this post is a bit of a rant
I can be a bit of a grumpy old cow at times, and I have quite a few pet peeves. Whether this is lateness or laziness *screams internally* but when travelling, I feel that we all have a degree of responsibility to preserve the destinations for everyone else.
That’s why people need to stop putting padlocks on bridges.
I love exploring and will try to go on as many city breaks as possible, especially being in London and so close to Europe. Paris is the first place that I heard about a bridge covered in padlocks. A symbol of love in one of the most romantic cities where you would write your name or initials on a padlock, with that of your love one, lock it and throw it into the river. A someone cliche way to express your love for another, but whatever.
Then things started to change. The Parisian locals reported that the bridge, which was now full of locks, was an eyesore in the shadow of beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral. In 2014 there was talk of removing them because of their appearance but in 2015 the decision was made for them, when one of metal grills collapsed under the sheer weight of the locks. A bridge built in the times of Napoleon destroyed in the seven years after the locks started appearing.
But now this annoying habit has been appearing all over the world.
Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in London, Europe and the World. It is still functional with road traffic limited to 20 miles per hour due to the vibrations potentially causing damage to the inner mechanics. So to see padlocks linked to this bridge really breaks my heart. To think that people’s own selfish reasons (is it something that people just do for Instagram?) could potentially damage this bridge that has become an icon of my home city.
Millennium Bridge is one of the newest bridges in London, built between St Pauls and Tate Modern. It is affectionately known as the wobbly bridge as shortly after it was opened, it was closed as it was unstable. So a bridge that has a history of being a bit unstable shouldn’t have padlocks stuck all over it! (Just watch the opening sequence to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to see the bridge I am talking about!)
Padlocks are an eyesore, they are a cliched expression of romance but more than that, they can cause serious and irreversible damage to these incredible historic and meaniful structures.