Couples urged not to put padlocks on Hull's new bridge over A63 as they could cause 'long term damage'

Users of Hull’s newly opened Castle Street Bridge have been asked to refrain from fitting padlocks onto the structure amid concerns they could cause long term damage.

The new bridge over the A63 - called Murdoch's Connection - in Hull

A spokesperson for Highways England, which runs the bridge officially known as Murdoch’s Connection, said users could take selfies instead to mark a “loving moment”.

It follows Twitter comments from Hull City Council Chief Executive Matt Jukes who said there was no set policy on padlocks but some were recently removed from Scale Lane Bridge.

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His comments came in response to Twitter users claiming padlocks had already appeared on the bridge which crosses the A63 about a month after it opened on Friday, March 5.

The Highways England spokesman said: “While we are delighted that people are enjoying Murdoch’s Connection, we would discourage people from attaching padlocks to the bridge because in the long term it could damage the structure, which would spoil the experience.

“It’s great that people are choosing Hull as a place to declare their love, and perhaps there are other ways to demonstrate it.

“Selfies have become popular since the bridge opened, and would be the ideal gesture to mark a loving moment.”

Mr Jukes to say: “There isn’t a specific policy against it although they can cause maintenance problems and we had to remove some at Scale Lane bridge for this very reason. Reflecting this, we would obviously rather people didn’t attach them.”

The online discussion picked up by BBC Radio Humberside presenter David Burns also saw Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Officer Chris Blacksell weigh in.

He tweeted: “I’d be entirely happy to trust Hull City Council on this one. They’ll be the ones that will know whether it is a problem or not, and I trust their expertise so would just go with whatever they decide.”

Murdoch’s Connection, named after Hull’s first woman GP Dr Mary Murdoch, bagged an award from the Institute for Civil Engineers (ICE) shortly after its March opening.

Works to build one of the newest additions to Hull’s skyline began in Autumn 2018 but was later delayed after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 47-metre-tall, 60-metre-long bridge, for pedestrians, cyclists and disabled users cost £22m and saw workers put in more than 200,000 hours.