An investigation into protecting Marlow Bridge from the threat of overweight vehicles has been completed – after a three-month delay.

Engineers from Transport for Bucks (TfB) have finished the safety study, which started in April this year, to give added protection to the three-tonne weight restricted bridge, in a bid to prevent another closure.

It comes as a lorry was left with burst tyres after attempting to cross the iconic bridge last week.

The incident happened less than a year after the bridge reopened following a two-month closure when a 37-tonne HGV tried to cross it.

The study was expected to take four months – finishing in August – but details have only just been published of its completion.

TfB officials said the study, which has not been made public, has produced a “shortlist of preferences” which has been presented in a report to Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council’s deputy leader and transport cabinet member.

TfB has not yet decided which option will be implemented.

Mr Shaw said the study had considered 18 different options, which included better communication with motorists through satellite navigation, weigh-in-motion technology linked to warning signs, as well as reinforced signage, after extensive inspection and testing of the bridge structure following the closure last year.

He added: “The engineers have even looked at the technology some authorities use in bus lanes to warn straying motorists to get out.

“Now we need to weigh up all the options, bearing in mind our stiff budget constraints, to make sure we're doing what will work to safeguard the bridge.

“Once a preferred option is selected, we'll need to look at the delivery programme and funding options.”

Mr Shaw also said longer term, the county council wanted to continue to work with Marlow engineering consultant Robin Atkinson, of Howes Atkinson Crowder, who has created a computer model of Marlow Bridge, allowing engineers to see how it behaves under certain stress conditions.

He added: “We'd like to test how critical the current weight restriction is, so that we're able to consider whether or not it's possible to vary this in the future.

“We want to make sure that we don't put this iconic structure at risk.”