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Opinion : Is it right to waste money policing the weight limit on Marlow Bridge?

| February 20, 2017

Marlow bridge during the closure in 2016.

I’m sure everyone is aware of the recent problems with overweight vehicles crossing Marlow bridge.

Matters were brought to a head last year when an 37 tonne articulated juggernaut tried to cross resulting in damage to the Grade I listed structure.

After weeks of inspections by engineers the bridge was finally re-opened but within a few minutes of traffic being allowed to cross overweight vehicles were once again trying to cross.

According to an article that appeared in the news section of this site today ‘Police [are] to enforce [the] Marlow Bridge weight restriction‘.

By George! Are front line law enforcement officers really going to be diverted from the war on crime to launch a war on overweight vehicles crossing Marlow Bridge?

How much will it cost to have police stationed at the bridge? I do hope my Council Tax won’t be rising this year to pay for such frivolous activities?

The simple fact is that Marlow Bridge is a relic from the past. It may look quaint situated at the end of Marlow High Street with its suspension arms stretching across the River Thames however it just can’t cope with modern vehicles or traffic.

In my opinion it’s time a permanent and cost effective solution was put in place. If crossing the river at Marlow is so important then surely the current bridge should be demolished and replaced with a modern concrete bridge?

Trying to stop overweight vehicles crossing is similar in nature to King Canute trying to stop the sea from coming in. In other words no matter how hard you try its going to happen regardless.

Rather then wasting public money policing the weight limit why not close the bridge to traffic altogether and allow only pedestrians and cyclists to cross on the historic structure?

If the police have time to waste enforcing the weight limit of Marlow bridge why not divert them to High Wycombe to tackle the problems created by unruly yobbos and delinquents who rampage through the town during school holidays?

I feel that tacking the problem of vehicles speeding down Marlow Hill in High Wycombe, prostitution in Desborough Road and bad driving on the M40 is a greater priority than enforcing the weight limit on Marlow Bridge?

Surely modern technology should be used if enforcing the weight limit on an antiquated bridge is so important? ANPR technology could be used to check the maximum weight of the vehicle crossing and if a vehicle is overweight then a barrier could come down to stop it crossing.

In my opinion Marlow is a town that is being mollycoddled, so much so that police resources are being used to enforce a weight limit on an antiquated bridge in the style of King Canute. If the bridge was in Wycombe the powers that be would have torn it down ages ago….

What do you think?

*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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