General

Comment on plans to tackle transport and congestion in Farnham

People who live, work, study in or travel to Farnham can now help shape a vision document which details the proposed work to tackle transport and congestion in and around the town.

The draft vision has been produced by the Farnham Infrastructure Programme – a partnership between Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council and Farnham Town Council. The programme is also supported by local MP Jeremy Hunt.

The vision was agreed by the Farnham Board at its online meeting last month. It contains four proposed projects and six themes, which together would improve how people travel in and around the town. The projects are:

  • Short and medium-term improvements: these include considering lowering speed limits in the town centre and rerouting HGVs.
  • Town centre infrastructure: this will include improving priority for pedestrians, encouraging walking and cycling, reducing traffic in the town and the Upper Hale Road, and supporting better connections between different parts of the town centre.
  • A31 Hickley’s Corner: looking at ways to reduce congestion and queuing, preventing the need for vehicles to divert through the town, greatly improving the connections in Farnham between north and south of the A31 and improving safety for all road users.
  • A325 Wrecclesham Relief Road: investigating solutions to the high traffic levels through Wrecclesham village such as a bypass, and preventing HGVs striking the railway bridge.

The suggested themes have been created to inform and direct the development of the programme as the vision is turned into reality. They are:

  • Prioritise health, safety and wellbeing
  • Place community first
  • Respond to the climate emergency
  • Enhance mobility and connectivity
  • Support businesses and encourage economic growth
  • Integrate digital technology into the new transport system

It’s now time for people in Farnham to have their say on whether these are the right projects, and to share any solutions they may have. The projects are expected to evolve regularly. Firstly as a result of resident feedback and then as they progress.

Feedback can be given through a questionnaire, as well as online meetings of the programme’s Local Liaison Forum as exhibitions are not possible due to social distancing restrictions. Dates for the forum meetings will be available shortly.

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “I’m pleased to share our draft vision which outlines what we think the key issues are for Farnham and what we think the outcomes could be. But I would stress it’s what we think. We must know what people living, working and visiting Farnham think too. This programme will only be a success if we’re tackling the right issues and coming up with the right solutions. That is why we are consulting as hearing the views of Farnham people is essential.”

John Ward, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “The purpose of the vision statement is to make sure everyone has a shared understanding of what we feel is needed for the future of Farnham. It’s about ensuring that all the decisions we make are focused on supporting a thriving local economy and making Farnham an even better place to live, work, shop and play. So please get involved by having your say, and help us unleash the potential of our town.”

John Neale, Leader of Farnham Town Council, said: “The vision has been developed so we all know what projects we’re going to tackle together, so please take this opportunity to let us know what you think and if there’s anything else we should consider. I’m looking forward to working with people across the town so we can ensure that Farnham’s fit for the future.”

Jeremy Hunt MP said: “We all now have a real opportunity to shape the future of Farnham and contribute to the long-overdue improvements the town so badly needs. Everyone should feed in their thoughts as in the end any progress we make will depend on achieving a broad consensus that we are heading in the right direction. Compromises will be necessary further on – but if we can all agree on the vision it gives this project the best possible chance of success.”

To read and comment on the vision, visit bit.ly/farnhamvision by Sunday 8 November 2020.

Printed versions of the questionnaire will shortly be available from Farnham Town Council in South Street. To be sent a copy, call 03456 009 009 before Monday 28 October 2020.

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