Community leaders have launched a fresh attack on Marlow’s controversial new bollards.

The Marlow Society, along with the Chamber of Commerce and mayor Chris Funnell, is planning to write to Bucks County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for transport, Mark Shaw, about the width of the new bollards at the historic bridge, which have been slammed by residents and businesses for being too far apart.

The larger, more “robust” bollards were installed at Marlow Bridge in a bid to prevent a repeat of scenes from 2016 when a lorry driver ignored the three-tonne weight limit and drove over it, forcing it to close for two months.

The new bollards were proposed by Bucks County Council as a trial to see if vehicles like Luton vans and 7.5 tonne lorries could be prevented from using the bridge as a shortcut to the A404 Marlow Bypass.

But residents and businesses criticised the bollards – which the Marlow Free Press revealed taxpayers forked out £110,000 for – saying they were too far apart and if a wide vehicle attempted to cross the bridge, it would become “stuck fast” and the historic landmark would become blocked.

Speaking at a meeting of the Marlow Community Forum this week, Marlow Society secretary George Lawrence said: “The bollards are fairly robust but it’s to do with where they have placed them and that they are so far apart.”

A safety study was carried out on the bridge in 2017 which found “clear evidence” that vehicles heavier than the three-tonne weight limit frequently used the bridge, sparking fears the beloved landmark could be permanently damaged if drivers continue to flout restrictions.

Engineers from Transport for Bucks (TfB) carried out the study to give added protection to the iconic restricted bridge, with improvements including more visible signage throughout the town, installing a height restriction or vehicle activated signs, and putting in CCTV or Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras and software on either side of the bridge.

At the time, Bucks County Council said it would also continue to petition the Department for Transport to allow police to issue fixed penalty notices to registered keepers of overweight vehicles using the bridge, and to raise the limit to 3.5 tonnes.

Marlow Society chairman Martin Blunkell said: “It has now been 18 months since the study was carried out and, in that time, there has been virtually no progress on 23 of the 25 proposals in the study.

“The Marlow Society, Chamber of Commerce and the mayor will be sending a letter to Bucks County Council asking why there has been no progress on these items.”

At a Marlow Town Council meeting this month, county councillor for Marlow Alex Collingwood said an ANPR census held at the end of November showed that the new bollards had reduced the number of overweight vehicles trying to use the bridge.

He said: “We plan to do another one in the New Year. In the meantime, we are looking at options for other types of bollards.”