The Union Chain Bridge is the world’s oldest vehicle suspension bridge (Northumberland County Council)

Inspection revealed premature wear and incorrectly formed fixing details on the timber deck panels of the recently refurbished 203-year-old bridge, according to the Northumberland County Council. The 137m-long single span Union Chain Bridge crosses the River Tweed to connect England and Scotland near the north-east town of Berwick.

Every piece of the bridge, including the deck panels, was removed and restored or replaced during a major refurbishment carried out by the Spencer Group from October 2020 to April 2023. A closure initially planned for finishing works within the bridge towers is currently also being used to replace the deck panels at no cost to the local authorities. The Spencer Group is carrying out the works which started on 10 June and are expected to conclude by 26 July.