A crumbling Marlow relic could be taken off-site to be repaired after work on it was halted due to concerns it could cause chaos for drivers in the town centre.

The Grade-II listed obelisk was set for a £20,000 makeover at the end of this month but the work was delayed until spring next year after it was feared that it would have a big impact on traffic, as diversions and traffic lights would have been in place 24-hours a day.

Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) could now look at taking the obelisk, which was erected in 1822 as a waypoint marker for travelling coaches, away from its location at the top of the High Street to be worked on, it was revealed in a meeting of Marlow Town Council’s Planning, Environment and Transport committee this week.

The historic structure has fallen into disrepair in recent years, with whole sections of stone lettering having crumbled and broken away, and was going to receive some much-needed TLC following years of campaigning by The Marlow Society.

A TfB spokesman said: “The renovation of the Marlow obelisk has been temporarily put on hold while Transport for Buckinghamshire explores alternative options to minimise potential traffic congestion during the works. 

“One of the options being explored is to take the structure off site for renovation.”

It is hoped this option will avoid TfB having to put up scaffolding on the centre of the roundabout to undertake the work safely, which would have required traffic management 24-hours-a-day, including putting up temporary traffic lights.

Mark Shaw, deputy leader and cabinet member for transportation supported the decision to postpone the work, saying: “TfB remains dedicated to completing the restoration of the obelisk in the shortest time possible and with the least disruption to the local area, which means it is now necessary to rethink the planning of the restoration and traffic management.”

The news comes as an unnamed Marlow Free Press reader also suggested taking the obelisk off-site for repairs, saying in a letter this would “only cause traffic issues for a day or so”.

They wrote: “Having seen the article in the BFP (20.10.17), would it not be possible to lift the obelisk onto a lorry (in one or more pieces), take it away for restoration and then reassemble it on site when the work has been done?

“Surely this would only cause traffic issues for a day or so (for each alteration)?

“The work of removal and repositioning could possibly be scheduled for very early morning, to minimise traffic disruption? Or is this simply not a practical proposition?”