Starting from Monday 3rd April 2017 motorists may face a fixed penalty notice fine of £50 if they try to cross Marlow Bridge in an overweight vehicle.
Since the beginning of March 2017 over 600 overweight vehicles have tried to cross the bridge and have been turned around and issued with advisory notices by officers from Thames Valley Police.
The enforcement actions comes after the supports of the Grade I listed bridge were ‘significantly overstressed’ when 37-tonne lorry was driven onto the bridge on Saturday 24th September 2016.
The bridge was closed until 10.00am on Friday 25th November 2016 while specialist engineers inspected the structure of the bridge to make sure it was safe due to fears of damage a a result of the 37-tonne lorry being driven onto the structure.
PS Robin Hughes from Marlow neighbourhood team said: ‘The majority of people that we have turned around in the first phase of this operation have been very understanding and genuinely unaware their vehicle was overweight. It is however your responsibility to ensure you know your vehicle’s MGW so please make sure you take a moment to check this.
There have been a small group of drivers over the past month who have tried to cross the bridge in an overweight vehicle on more than one occasion and seem to have no regard for the weight limit. One vehicle we stopped was over 10 metric tonnes – seven tonnes over the limit.
This weight limit is in place to help protect a well-loved, historic landmark and, as previous events have demonstrated, overweight vehicles attempting to cross it can cause serious disruption to our town.
We are working with partners to look at longer term solutions to this issue but from Monday (3/4) we will be issuing fines to those who continue to ignore the weight restrictions when crossing Marlow Bridge.‘
Marlow Bridge is a Grade I listed structure and its use is restricted to vehicles under three tonnes maximum gross weight (MGW) and less that 6ft 6ins wide.
The MGW (or maximum permissible mass) of a vehicle can be found in a vehicles handbook or in box F.1 on the vehicles V5 registration document. If this figure exceeds 3000kg then that vehicle cannot use Marlow Bridge and must use the A404 bypass instead.
The number of passengers or luggage within a vehicle has no bearing on its MGW.