STAR-crossed lovers are being urged not to leave tokens of their affection on a city bridge - for fear it will damage the structure.

Padlocks bearing the names of sweethearts have started to appear on the recently revamped Scarborough Bridge, across the River Ouse, in York.

The ‘love locks’ phenomenon is believed to have started in Europe in recent years.

Lovers attach a padlock to a public structure after inscribing it with their names and sometimes a date.

York Press:

They then throw away the keys, often in a nearby river, as a sign of ‘unbreakable love’.

However, the seemingly innocent gesture of affection has caused problems in cities across the world.

Authorities in Paris started removing the locks from the Pont des Arts bridge after sections of fencing on the bridge were damaged by the weight of thousands of locks.

The love locks have started to appear on Scarborough Bridge, which has a series of metal cables in its design, making it a perfect target for padlocks.

City of York Council is now asking people to stop.

York Press:

James Gilchrist, assistant director of transport, highways and environment, said: “We would like to discourage people from adding ‘love locks’ to the railings.

“As has been shown in Europe the amount of locks can quickly escalate and cause damage to the bridge due to their weight and rusting.”

Scarborough Bridge shut in January last year so that the old structure could be removed and the new footway installed. It reopened on April 18, 2019.

York Press:

Further improvement work is set to go ahead to make it easier for people to walk and cycle from the station through to the hospital.