Crucial to solving the congestion issues in Farnham, responding to the climate emergency and being able to deliver improvements to the town centre is a reduction in car journeys.
This means rather than driving around town, we would like people to walk, cycle or use public transport whenever possible. Fewer car journeys are one way to reduce any displacement of traffic from the town centre to other parts of the town.
There are a number of ways that Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council and Farnham Town Council are working to help people in the town to leave their cars at home and use active and sustainable ways to get around.
Short- and-medium term interventions
The programme has already started to change how we use roads, to help make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists. This includes HGV restrictions in Castle Street and Upper Hale Road and the reclassification of the A325 to discourage unnecessary through traffic. There will be 20mph speed limits in parts of the town later this year, with an intention to extend this to more roads over the coming years. Our new wayfinding work is looking to improve signage to help people walk around the town centre.
Through the programme’s medium-term interventions project, a number of schemes to support active and sustainable travel are being considered. They are:
The other medium-term interventions are: extending the 30mph limit on Odiham Road to the junction with Old Park Lane bridleway, A325/Water Lane Roundabout traffic flow improvements and a review of speed limits along rest of A287.
Following a Traffic Regulatory Order consultation last year, we are currently preparing for the installation of the 20mph speed limit in the town centre, Weydon Lane and Upper Hale Road, with associated traffic calming measures in Upper Hale Road.
Following feedback from the consultation process the Farnham Infrastructure Programme has decided to take a phased approach to implementation of the 20mph limit/zone. A second phase will address the wider feedback from the original consultation including a review of the A287, which is part of the programme's medium term interventions project. Then a third phase could examine the 20mph Farnham town concept.
Walking and cycling plans
A Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is a long-term strategy for developing walking and cycling routes, and the programme is developing a specific one for Farnham. Engagement has begun with local councillors and key interest groups.
We want the Farnham LCWIP to support the development of a comprehensive cycle and walking network which is easily accessible, safe, direct, coherent and attractive. We want it to connect Farnham’s neighbourhoods with each other, and those neighbourhoods with the town centre, supporting active travel and making it easier for people to leave the car at home when they can.
It’s also important that the Farnham plan complements a Waverley-wide LCWIP and one being developed for Rushmoor which covers Aldershot. That means we can help to create a coherent network not just in the town, but surrounding communities. Any proposals will be complimentary to the other projects we have within the programme.
Cycling in Farnham town centre
The LCWIP is about creating ways to get people around the town and into the town centre on safe routes, while the consultation proposals look to provide cycle parking in helpful locations for people as they arrive in the town centre.
The historic nature of Farnham’s town centre is characterised by some narrow roads so it is not always possible to provide cycle lanes segregated from traffic for people who wish to cycle through the centre. However, the proposed improvements will help to make the town centre roads safer for cyclists, alongside measures to reduce through traffic by reclassification of the A325, the HGV restrictions and the upcoming introduction of 20mph speed limits.
If a wider pedestrianisation scheme is introduced in the future, cyclists would still be able to ride through the town centre.
Surrey County Council and the bus operators have an ambition to make bus travel easier, more attractive and even more environmentally friendly.
Through the council’s Greener Futures programme the county council has committed to fund new zero-emission buses, put measures in place make sure buses can operate reliably and install more real time electronic displays at bus stops in Farnham. This will give passengers confidence that they know when the bus will arrive. In areas where the conventional network cannot provide convenient services we plan to introduce flexible demand responsive buses. Passengers will be able to able to book their ride using the SurreyConnect app and travel in the electric minibuses.
Another ambition is to improve the connections between the railway station and other parts of the town, so people can get to the station without using their cars.
Changing to an electric vehicle is better for the environment – and sales of new petrol and diesel cars will be ending in 2030, so it’s something we’ll all have to do eventually. However, there’s still a need to reduce car use to reduce congestion in Farnham – so while an EV is better for air quality, continuing to drive when there are other options is still contributing to traffic.
For people who are unable to charge cars at home, public charging points are being rolled out. Surrey County Council is responsible for on-street charging points – such as the ones installed in Hale Road. Waverley Borough Council has installed charge points in its car parks – including the Riverside 3 car park, and some due in the new Brightwells Yard car park.
If you want to suggest a location for charging points, place a pin on our interactive map.