Today’s column follows on from the topic of the last two weeks, but I have to apologise for some very poor quality pictures and a faded and creased map of Marlow.

However this Town Council map dated 1968 is the only one available that shows (dotted line on the right) the route of the proposed new bypass, and crossing over one of the former Marlow Brickworks quarries.

The pictures on the right are all I have of the actual construction work in 1970/1 – the stretch toward Handy Cross, and the new Thames bridge alongside Longridge. Insert is the “cutting the ribbon” ceremony upon completion, including Councillor John Hester.

However the main subject of this page, and the reason for the blue line I have marked on the map, is to show you the very improbable plan for a bypass back in 1928, as an alternative to the raging controversy of demolishing and replacing the suspension bridge.

More excerpts from official documents from the Earl of Mayo’s extensive survey from that same year are copied above.

This first target route, and apparently the one preferred, was via a new bridge with central piers on Lock Island, crossing Mill Road and up the (then) largely undeveloped Lock Road. Glade Road, however, (and surely never called Glade Lane?) would have had houses on both sides and it is difficult to imagine a busy bypass proceeding up there. Although not mentioned (the proposals are very vague) there must have been some provision for an exit to the Wycombe and Little Marlow Roads.

Crossing the eastern end of Star Meadow (no Green Verges back then) I assume it would have narrowly avoided the cemetery and passed alongside the Boys’ School to eventfully link up with the B482 up the hill. The only side road that existed back then was Seymour Park Road, and getting over that would have caused a problem.

Possibly it would have become a cul-de-sac from Oak Tree Road unless a bridge was considered. A direct road to Oxford, avoiding Marlow town centre and the suspension bridge, was obviously thought more important than the route to London.

Of course it never happened, which must have been some relief, especially to residents of Glade Road and Lock Island. The second suggestion was for a route slightly more in line with our present bypass which was eventually opened in 1972.

Contact Michael at or 01628 486571