Taxpayers forked out more than £1.1 million to repair a major footbridge into Marlow.

Highways England carried out essential maintenance to the Volvo Footbridge, which runs across the A404, including repairs to the staircases and repainting work.

It was taken away at the beginning of September last year for the work to be carried out off-site and reinstalled last month, with the A404 closed in both directions between the junction with the A4155, just outside Marlow, and the Bisham roundabout over both weekends.

The Marlow Free Press can now reveal that the work cost a total of 1,103,900 – which was around £21,000 more than the original projected cost of £1.082 million – funded from the authority’s capital renewals budget for 2018/19.

The authority is government-owned and taxpayer funded.

Highways England said the cost went up due to maintenance of deteriorated steelwork, and the repairs would extend the footbridge’s lifespan.

Rotarian Lance Slater said while the figure sounded like a “tremendous amount of money”, it was a “big job”.

He said: “Being realistic, these things can cost a lot of money. I don’t use it very often but when I have used it, I remember thinking it all sort of looked in reasonable condition before the work was done.

“But as with anything, you do get to a point where this type of work needs to be done.”

Giving a breakdown of costs, Highways England said it spent £583,000 on “preliminaries”, £119,000 on traffic management, £400,000 on steelwork maintenance and £1,900 on clearing the site.

Mr Slater added: “One would hope a thorough survey was done to justify the work and cost, and several quotes were obtained before the work was started.

“Whether it can be proven that the work really needed to be done right now and not in another five or 10 years’ time remains to be seen.

“Repairs must always be done at the right time. I hope that it was necessary and that nothing else needs to be done to it for another 30 years or so. It’s a major thing and if it needed to be done, it needed to be done.”

The project was delayed several times - once in May last year when it was originally set to be taken away, but was pushed back to August as it would coincide with the Pub in the Park festival, and once again in October when it was due to be put back in, with Highways England saying work to apply the new protective paint had been delayed.

It was reinstalled in January this year.