Our detailed response to the public consultation on the restructuring of the town centre has been submitted to the Farnham Infrastructure Board. It is a lengthy submission which has examined Scheme A and Scheme B offered by the FIP Board to the public for consideration.
We felt unable to support either one fully as Option A needed further additions and Option B needed certain omissions. Therefore, we have offered a Hybrid Option. A halfway between Option A & B.
Main points of our Hybrid Option:
- Two-way on The Borough between Castle Street and Downing Street as described in Option B however without live lane Bus Stops
- Two-way on Downing Street between Waggon Yard Car Park and Longbridge. To reduce traffic not needing to use Downing Street when seeking to go South. Vehicles travelling East when reaching Longbridge, as existing, can access Victoria Road to get to South Street, thereby not using three roads they do at the moment.
- South Street to remain One way with existing bus stop pull in to prevent further increased traffic, as proposed in Option B, forming a greater barrier to the new Brightwell Scheme.
- Two Way on Woolmead enabling East Street to be fully pedestrianised (excepting buses). This road rarely makes use of its two lanes at present.
- No left turn from Bear Lane into Park Row to prevent this becoming a short cut to Castle Street.
Whatever decisions are made it is hoped that there will not be long delays in the ongoing planning process. Since our AGM was used as a launch pad, four years have passed and costs including consulting fees will continue to nibble away at the budget with the added complication of inflation. The risk is that an axe will be taken to costs and the temptation of using second rate materials and quality workmanship will come into play. Delay is not working to the town’s advantage.
Farnham is often jokingly referred to as the only town in the country with 40,000 dormant town planners who are only activated when significant change is suggested. The nearest thing to common accord appears to be an acceptance that to survive as a pleasant town change is required. Beyond that suggestions and counter suggestions have historically rumbled on until previous efforts for change have been successfully delayed. This must not happen again. There will never be an ideal solution but sufficient consultation has now taken place and this opportunity for change must not be allowed to evaporate.