Mass gatherings will no longer be permitted to take place on Marlow Bridge in order to ‘preserve its life even further.’

Transport for Buckinghamshire along with Buckinghamshire Council made the decision on Monday, October 19 after they conducted a structural review and assessment on the famous bridge.

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At the start of the year, TfB began essential maintenance work on the bridge with the first phase of the project being completed in June within three weeks - two weeks ahead of schedule.

The work included the cleaning of the towers, repairs to the roof of the towers and repainting of the chains, kerbs and hangers.

The second phase of the work is due to commence in the spring of 2021, and to ensure no damage is caused before then, the closure of the bridge to mass gatherings will commence on New Year’s Eve this year.

Cabinet Member for Transport, Nick Naylor said: “The commitment to preserve Marlow Bridge, along with the work already undertaken and, in the pipeline, will ensure this iconic piece of Buckinghamshire history will remain for generations to come.

“It’s a shame to see another tradition lost this year, however it will be worth it for the lasting legacy of Marlow Bridge.”

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According to BC [Buckinghamshire Council], around 3,000 people stood on or stood near the bridge on New Year's Eve last year.

Buckinghamshire Council said: "Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) has been conducting an ongoing structural review and assessment of Marlow Bridge, which has resulted in the decision to no longer allow mass gatherings on the iconic bridge, thus preserving its life even further.

"The weight of a crowd this size is far greater than normal daily traffic, and combined with the dynamic movement of the pedestrians, put the bridge into an unsafe state.

"Due to the risk of damage, the Highway Authority were compelled to act in order to safeguard the condition of the bridge and protect any potential pedestrians."

According to the council and TfB, this led to the bridge being put under 'significant strain’.

The bridge will be closed as a precautionary measure from 12pm on December 31, 2020 to 12pm on January 1, 2021, therefore being closed for 24 hours.

Both parties also believe that due to the ongoing pandemic, they 'anticipate the public will not be in large gatherings because of Covid-19 restrictions.' 

Marlow Bridge first opened in 1832.