Marlow Bridge to close for bollard 'enhancements'

Rory Butler, Local Democracy Reporter

MARLOW 131983-1

Works to stop heavy goods vehicles passing over a historic bridge in Marlow for good will commence next week, forcing drivers to choose another route.

Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) is planning 'enhancement works' to Marlow Bridge over a five-day period, which involves reducing the distance between the bollards to prevent HGVs from crossing in the future.

Works begin on Monday, February 15, and are due to finish on Friday, February 19.

The bridge will be closed to vehicles day and night, but walkers and cyclists will still be able to cross, TfB said.

Temporary measures will divert traffic onto the A404.

The iconic bridge has seen its share of drama throughout the years.

In 2016, it was closed and saw 'overstressing on key structural parts' when a HGV driver from a European haulage company vastly exceeded a three-tonne weight limit in his 37-tonne lorry, blew a tyre and got stuck.

Two months later another disaster was barely averted when an overweight van attempted to cross it five minutes after it was officially reopened following extensive inspections.

Then, in 2017, one lorry managed to get through its width restrictions before being flagged down; while on a separate occasion a P&O Ferrymasters wagon blew its tyres while attempting to cross the weight-restricted bridge.   

A Bensons for Beds lorry also exceeded the bridge weight limit in 2019.

The old bell-shaped bollards were replaced by TfB with more 'robust' ones in 2018 to the tune of £110,000. However, they were slammed by residents and businesses for being “too far apart” and in 2019 replacement width-restriction bollards were installed.

There were mixed reactions online to the news of scheduled works next week.

“I guess they only want superminis and small hatchbacks to get through. There is barely any space as it is,” one person wrote.

While another commented: “Many commercial vehicles ignore the weight restrictions along with many MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) private vehicles, so the work needs to be done.”

A spokesperson for TfB said: “TfB will be undertaking enhancement works to the Marlow Bridge bollards as a way to help prevent heavy goods vehicles from crossing the bridge.

“The work is due to commence on Monday 15th February for approximately five days, with the work taking place between 7.30am and 5.30pm each day.

“In order to keep the public and our crews safe, the bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic throughout the day and night, with a temporary traffic diversion in place via the A404. Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to cross the bridge via the designated area.”

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