Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) has been conducting an ongoing structural review and assessment of Marlow Bridge, which has resulted in the decision to no longer allow mass gatherings on the bridge, thus preserving its life even further.
Earlier this year, TfB started essential maintenance work on Marlow Bridge with the first phase of the project completed in June within three weeks, two weeks ahead of schedule. The work included the cleaning of the towers, repairs to the roof of the towers and repainting of the chains, kerbs and hangers. The second phase of the work is due to commence in Spring 2021, and to ensure no damage is caused before then, the closure of the bridge to mass gatherings will commence from New Year’s Eve this year.
New Year’s Eve 2019 drew in an estimated 3000 people who crowded onto, and near, the Grade I listed bridge, putting it under significant strain. The weight of a crowd this size is far greater than normal daily traffic, and combined with the dynamic movement of the pedestrians, put the bridge into an unsafe state. Due to the risk of damage, The Highway Authority were compelled to act in order to safeguard the condition of the bridge and protect any potential pedestrians.
Due to this decision, and whilst we anticipate the public will not be in large gatherings because of Covid-19 restrictions, as a precautionary measure, Marlow Bridge will be closed to all pedestrians and vehicles covering a 24-hour period from noon on 31 December 2020 to noon 1 January 2021.
Cabinet Member for Transport, Nick Naylor said:
‘The commitment to preserve Marlow Bridge, along with the work already undertaken and in the pipeline, will ensure this iconic piece of Buckinghamshire history will remain for generations to come. It’s a shame to see another tradition lost this year, however it will be worth it for the lasting legacy of Marlow Bridge.’
Advanced signage will be arranged to remind residents, as well as reminders on TfB’s social media pages on facebook and twitter @tfbalerts