12:43PM, Thursday 19 September 2019
Drivers will be alerted if their vehicle exceeds the weight or width restriction on Marlow Bridge as further investigative work starts.
Transport for Bucks (TfB) will be working with a county councillor and two local authorities to carry out further work on the Marlow Suspension Bridge.
Alongside county councillor Alex Collingwood, Marlow Town Council and bordering council the Royal Borough, the work will be taking place from Monday, September 23.
TfB will undertake further testing on the bridge, attaching ‘testing apparatus’ to the bollards in order to determine driver behaviour and vehicle alignment in anticipation of setting the bollards in the future to the 'correct' operational width restriction of two metres.
The council says that this information will shape how the deterrent measures may be improved in the future.
Drivers will be alerted if their vehicle exceeds the three tonne weight limit and/or the two metre width restriction by visual display units erected on both sides of the bridge and messages will flash up accordingly.
The campaign is intended to help deter overweight or oversized vehicles from crossing the bridge and will last until October 21, 2019, demonstrating to drivers for four weeks if their vehicle can legally use the bridge.
As well as the testing and driver awareness campaigns, TfB will also continue to assess the structural capacity of the bridge and has initiated a review of the traffic signs in the surrounding area.
This will assist TfB in analysing the condition of the bridge and direct HGV’s onto alternative suitable routes before they reach it.
Bucks County Council cabinet transport member Mark Shaw (Con, Chesham) said: “Education and data gathering are a key part of the prevention process and we need to do whatever it takes to protect this iconic structure and change behaviour.
"Gathering data whilst lifting awareness to the highest level is a collaborative process and will enable us to demonstrate further restrictions we may have to put in place.
"Whilst we do not want to jump to conclusions at this stage the final data may take us in the direction of re-engineering the bollards to a tighter width again, to protect at all costs a costly and catastrophic event from occurring in the future, this exercise will help inform us of the options available to us going forward."
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