A caravan has become the latest in a number of oversized vehicles to get stuck on Marlow’s Grade-I listed bridge after breaching its three-tonne weight limit.

The bridge is currently undergoing a fortnight-long council inspection and survey which will conclude next week.

The inspection follows an acknowledgement from Buckinghamshire Council that several bearings are in need of repair and that drivers risk damaging the bridge by ignoring width restrictions and “seeking to claim for damage to their vehicles when they are the ones at fault”.

Despite the scaffolding currently in place around the bridge towers and a nightly closure between 8pm and 6am last week, offending drivers weren’t deterred from trying to cross the 19th-century structure over the bank holiday weekend.

In particular, one caravan driver learned the perils of navigating a large vehicle through Marlow Bridge’s infamous width restriction bollards the hard way, after their vehicle became stuck between them on Monday morning, May 27.

In January, a large lorry was photographed squeezing through the bollards just weeks after they were damaged by another large vehicle, necessitating “urgent repairs” by the council.

Sue Winter, who stood in front of a heavy goods vehicle to prevent it from crossing into the town in 2021, told the Free Press that she couldn’t understand why such “massive” trucks were still able to drive over the bridge with little deterrent.

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Some residents have called for the introduction of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras on the bridge to discourage unsuitable crossings before they have a detrimental effect on the future of the structure.

However, council representatives have repeatedly said that ANPR measures could not be enforced in Marlow because of legislative limitations.

Deputy member for transport Dominic Barnes described the idea as “a waste of taxpayers’ money and a waste of resources” and instead highlighted a programme of maintenance and upgrade works planned for the bridge between 2024 and 2025 for its long-term “protection and enhancement”.

Other instances of drivers breaching the bridge’s three-tonne weight limit include a livestock trailer that collided with the bollards in September 2022 and a Bensons for Beds lorry which sparked a local backlash by making it into the town by the skin of its teeth in December 2019.

Perhaps the most egregious example of a weight-limit violation, however, was when a 37-tonne lorry broke down on the bridge after blowing a tyre in September 2016. The prolonged stress of the heavy vehicle left the structure in need of repairs totalling £200,000.