The possibility of a wider pedestrian scheme for Farnham town centre is something that many people in the town are very passionate about.
Ahead of the summer 2022 consultation, the Farnham Infrastructure Programme considered pedestrianisation on Castle Street from Long Garden Walk to The Borough, West Street from The Hart and along The Borough to the Royal Deer Junction, and Downing Street between Lower Church Lane and West Street. Under this idea, buses, taxis, and cyclists would continue to be able to use these roads to support a move to more sustainable and active travel; and specific proposals would be included to make sure residents could still reach their properties and businesses could still receive deliveries.
However, it was felt that at this time it isn’t viable to propose this as a town centre scheme, as it would displace traffic and congestion to other parts of the town. Therefore, we will not be consulting on pedestrianisation as part of this consultation. The most feasible way to be able to move towards pedestrianisation is by a major shift away from travelling by car to sustainable and active methods of travel – such as walking, cycling and public transport. Please read the separate information on active and sustainable travel.
Pedestrianisation of Farnham town centre remains an option, provided the displacement of traffic can be mitigated alongside a significant reduction in car use. The two proposals for Farnham town centre would be complementary to a pedestrianisation scheme in the future.
Due to government guidance, it’s not possible to have the pavement and road surface at the same level. This is because of the high number of vehicles that will be continuing to travel through the town. The programme team is proposing to maintain a small kerb to maintain the difference between road and pedestrian spaces. This will not prevent a wider pedestrianisation scheme in the future – Guildford High Street is an example of a pedestrianised space with pavements and a road with a small kerb.
Western and Wrecclesham bypasses
A review of the option of a Western bypass by the programme found that it is unlikely to attract the government funding at this time needed to make it a reality. This is because current government funding is prioritised for schemes which encourage sustainable modes of travel, not building new roads. If the funding position changes, then the programme will look at this again. In the meantime we are reviewing the traffic modelling with the intention of developing packages of measures to address the safety and environmental impacts of traffic.
The possibility of a Wrecclesham bypass is being looked at again by Surrey County Council following recent cases of HGVs striking the railway bridge.
Upper Hart link road
A link road from Castle Hill to the Upper Hart car park has been suggested as a way to support the pedestrianisation of Castle Street. It would not be needed to implement the two proposals in the summer 2022 consultation.
A paper covering this issue was tabled at the Farnham Board in June 2022 and the option will be considered further in the next few months.