Infrastructure

Farnham Infrastructure Programme

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The Farnham Infrastructure Programme (FIP), a collaboration of Surrey County Council with Waverley Borough Council and Farnham Town Council, aims to deliver a single shared vision for the future infrastructure of Farnham.

The Farnham Local Liaison Forum (LLF) has been formed to engage with the local community and local businesses to shape Farnham’s future. The LLF was launched by Webinar on 5 August 2020, with a presentation by representatives of all three councils.

LLF Laptop Screen 2A

 

Click here for slide presentation.

You can watch the 2 hour webinar by clicking on the following link

https://www . youtube . com/watch?v=A45_vmXViHA&feature=youtu . be

For a list of questions raised and answers given at the webinar, click here.

A Farnham Infrastructure Vision Statement has been produced, as a consultation document. Click here to view.

To respond to the consultation click here. Consultation closes 8 November.

 

 

Cycling lanes in Farnham

Cycling

 

In recent weeks there have been a number of articles about cycling lanes. Did you see them ?

The Society maintains its position in supporting pedestrianisation and the introduction of shared spaces, but not giving preference to cyclists over pedestrians and motorists. We are, however, open to ideas provided they do not compromise safety and the wellbeing of all living, working and visiting Farnham

Fortunately, Farnham currently does not have any dedicated cycle lanes on its roads. There are numerous shared cycle lane pavements / footpaths but we will return to those. What would happen if cycle lanes were introduced to the roads in Farnham ? The Covid safe distancing measures introduced in June give us an idea.

We, like many residents, were appalled at the measures put in place by Surrey County Council, against the wishes of Farnham Town Council. Surrey strong-armed our local representatives and spent money that could have been used more effectively. But, surprise, surprise, Surrey weren’t the only local authority with responsibility for roads to introduce such schemes or cycle lanes, although maybe took longer in accepting that they were inappropriate and ugly.

The government rushed out £2 billion to encourage the public to cycle to work rather than use public transport or their cars during the pandemic.

The consequences of the measures were traffic chaos, disenchanted shop owners and managers and, to add insult to injury, government figures show the number using bicycles has fallen 25% since the first lockdown. That will be a national figure and it could be different in Farnham, however the consequences of the introduction of cycle lanes would have been very similar, if not probably worse, here in Farnham.

Reports from many towns across England record drivers left fuming as they queue next to empty routes coned off for cyclists. U turns have been made by councils with many of the cycle routes being ripped up at further expense.

The papers record that one cycle route in Greater Manchester was removed after just 28 hours because of the mayhem. Another route in Gloucestershire was scrapped after five days, and in West Sussex 12 miles of cycle lanes that reputedly cost £780,000 were removed because barely anyone was using them. In London a cycle lane between Euston Road and Marylebone Road costing £250,000 was removed because it created crippling traffic congestion, and thousands have backed a court challenge to overturn road closures brought in to boost cycling in Ealing.

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay led a campaign to scrap pop-up cycle lanes in his Kent constituency and said: “I am up for dedicated cycle lanes that have been well thought out, but to take away existing vehicular road space and cause more congestion is not a good idea. I speak to many MP colleagues and they are saying there are campaigns against these cycle lanes all across the country. I think the scheme should be scrapped.”

Pro-cycling groups and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps say opposition to the cycle lanes comes from a ‘vocal minority’. But Mr Shapps wrote to councils last month to warn that too many temporary cycle lanes were being left ‘unused’ and causing ‘traffic to back up.’

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “This Government is investing £27 billion to upgrade our roads in our largest road improvement programme. We are at the same time promoting cycling and walking as they are beneficial to people’s health and wellbeing, but we have been clear we expect local authorities to engage constructively with residents to make sure any changes are right for everyone, including motorists.”

It is reported that Portsmouth City Council announced that it would remove all parking along two main roads in Southsea to accommodate fully segregated bike lanes in both directions, as part of a three-week trial which may become permanent. Shop owners are already struggling it is claimed, and believe it will kill business dead.

Many people have suggested that the time has come for cyclists to be licensed – and to be forced to obey the Highway Code like the rest of us.

I am noticing increased disrespect for pedestrians by cyclists. Cyclists give way, or give a wide margin, for other cyclists but do not give way or leave an appropriate margin for pedestrians. Cyclists have become the ‘white van men’ of the pavement or footpath.

Although suggesting cyclists should be forced to obey the Highway Code there is in fact little in the Highway Code relating to cycling. The government is reportedly revising it, which may lead to drivers of cars, vans and lorries being assumed to be automatically responsible for accidents with cyclists.

Motoring groups are reportedly worried about the ‘hierarchy of users’ guideline which says ‘pedestrians and cyclists will have the right of way and that those in cars, vans and lorries will bear greater responsibility to keep them safe.’ Critics believe it means drivers will face the blame even if a cyclist was really at fault – and that the amendments may push up motor insurance premiums.

The proposed change states: ‘Those in charge of vehicles that can cause the greatest harm in the event of a collision bear the responsibility to care and reduce the danger posed to others’. This principle applies most strongly to drivers of large goods and passenger vehicles.’ Another change would grant cyclists the right of way to ‘undertake’ vehicles, even if the driver is already indicating to turn left.

The Society remains concerned at the possible repercussions of the cycling lobby’s impact on Farnham. The cycling campaign group have suggested a new phase on the Hickley’s Corner traffic lights. This would further increase congestion, already bad enough, on this major highway in Farnham. The consequence would be more congestion in the town centre, something that it is impossible to even consider.

Of course, cycling is an important activity and needs to be taken account of in the planning of our roads. We need to take care however that pedestrian safety is not compromised and that the overall wellbeing of our town is considered when making important changes, rather than just accepting the views of one sector of our community.

The current Local Liaison Forum consultations being run as part of the Farnham infrastructure Programme provides an opportunity for us all to get involved. There are further Local Liaison Forum Meetings taking place to discuss and allow residents to express their views later this week, and in December, and early January. Follow this link and register to take part, listen or voice your opinion www.farnham.gov.uk/LLF

Dates for your diary

Wednesday November 25 at 6.30pm, Community (active travel, air quality, biodiversity)

Wednesday December 9 at 6.30pm, Town Centre (East Street, pedestrianisation, bypass)

Wednesday January 6 at 3pm, A31 and Hickley’s Corner (north-south connectivity)

Wednesday January 6 at 6.30pm, Upper Hale (effects of town centre changes, bypass)

Thursday January 7 at 6.30pm, Wrecclesham (bypass)

Thursday January 14 at 6.30pm, Young people (travel to school, youth needs)

 

Consultation on Recycling Centre

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Surrey County Council has conducted a public consultation aimed at reducing the cost of operating recycling centres. This included the Farnham recycling centre in Guildford Road. Notably, the consultation looked at the options of closure of recycling centres, restricting opening hours, and charging for disposal of certain types of waste.

The consultation closed in September 2015.

For further information, see the Surrey County Council website.

Waverley Dwelling Completions 2001-2013

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These figures  were presented at the Farnham Society Residents’ Associations Meeting at the St Joan’s Centre on 26 November

They show that the average number of new dwellings in the 12 year period from 2001/02 till 2012/13 was 233.3 and in Farnham was 77.5. The consultation was based on an average annual figure for Waverley of 470 and in the four scenarios average annual figures for Farnham of 211, 144, 117 and 100.

For Waverley as a whole this would represent a 101% increase on the long term average figure

For Farnham these figures would equate to 172%, 86%, 51% and 29% increases.

 

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Farnham Census Figures

Roman Census

Roman Census

Farnham Census Figures

These figures  were presented at the Farnham Society Residents Associations Meeting at the St Joan’s Centre on 26 November

They show that in the ten years between the 2001 and the 2011 censuses the population of Farnham, the number of vehicles in households and the number of school age children all rose faster than the number of dwellings.

The figures under S1 to S4 show the projected outcomes of Waverley’s four scenarios that they used for their public consultation exercise.

 

  2001 2011 increase %
Dwellings 15,769 16,613 844 5.4%
Population 37,055 39,488 2,433 6.5%
Cars/Vans 22,680 24,852 2,172 9.5%
Aged 5-17 5,628  (15.2%) 6,412 (16.2%) 784 13.9%
People/dwelling 2.35 2.38
C&V/dwelling 1.44 1.50
5-17/dwelling 0.36 0.39

 

S1 S2 S3 S4
Dwellings 20,558 19358 18858 18558
Population (x2.4) 49,339 46,531 45,259 44,539
Cars/Vans (x1.6) 32,893 30,973 30,173 29,693
Aged 5-17 (17%) 8,388 7,910 7,694 7,572

 

Infrastructure Update

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Waverley Local Plan

This document is part of the continually evolving evidence base of the new Waverley Borough Local Plan. It provides updated information on the infrastructure that will be necessary to deliver the policies and proposals of the Local Plan, and specifically in relation to the consultation exercise on potential housing scenarios.

For the purposes of the new Local Plan, infrastructure comprises:

  •  Transport: road network, bus, cycling and walking infrastructure, rail, parking
  •  Education: primary and secondary education, further and higher education, nursery schools and other early years provision
  •  Health: acute care and general hospitals, mental hospitals, health centres, ambulance services and social care
  •  Social and community infrastructure: supported accommodation, social and community facilities, sports centres, open spaces, parks and play space
  •  Public services: waste management and disposal, libraries, cemeteries, emergency services (police, fire, ambulance), places of worship, prisons, drug treatment centres
  • Utility services: gas supply, electricity supply, heat supply, water supply, wastewater treatment, telecommunications infrastructure
  •  Flood risk management
  • Green infrastructure: parks and gardens, natural and semi-natural urban greenspaces, green corridors, outdoor sports facilities, amenity greenspace, provision for children and young people, allotments, cemeteries and churchyards, accessible countryside in urban fringe areas, river and canal corridors, green roofs and walls.

The responses of the infrastructure suppliers to Waverley can be seen at link

Draft Neighbourhood Plan

A main purpose of this draft Neighbourhood Plan is to ensure any new development is
supported by adequate infrastructure development. This consultation draft plan will be
discussed in detail with the following infrastructure providers to test whether proposed
development can be supported by sufficient infrastructure to ensure the quality of life of
existing and future residents:

  • Surrey County Council in respect of the local schools and transport network
  • South East Water in respect of water supply
  • Thames Water in relation to waste water treatment
  • Natural England in respect of SANG
  • Waverley Borough Council in respect of recreation (including the swimming pool) and
  • open space provision

Future development in and outside Farnham has the potential to exacerbate existing
infrastructure issues and these will need to be reassurance that these can be resolved
before the development options included in the draft Neighbourhood Plan could be
delivered.

Education in Farnham

Farnham Sixth form College

Farnham Sixth form College

We set out below what the Waverley Local Plan infrastructure update document, dated September 2014 and the draft Farnham Neighbourhood Plan dated October 2014 say about education.

The Society’s concern is that evidence from the 2011 census shows that the increase from the previous census in 2001, in the number of school age children in Farnham (13.9%) significantly exceeded the overall population level increase (6.5%) and the increase in housing (5.4%).

If the Local Plan results in a significant increase in the levels of housebuilding above the previous average levels it will become increasingly difficult to meet  the demand for school places in Farnham.

Waverley local Plan

Early Years

Awaiting response to April 2014 consultation. The 2012 IDP (Infant Development program) stated that where additional Early Years places are required in an area, additional infrastructure will be required. SCC Early Years Service will identify a suitable location for this infrastructure and invite bids from prospective providers to run these new settings.

Primary/Secondary schools

SCC consider that the likely scale of additional demand for primary and secondary school places will be an issue for the Local Plan in terms of ensuring that school places are provided to meet additional need created as a direct result of new development. The need for more school places in certain areas of the borough has been identified and the options for expansion or additional provision will need to be reviewed to ensure that the impact of the Local Plan is taken into account.

Post-16

Information suggests there is sufficient capacity to meet current needs. The difficulty of accessing mainstream provision from the more rural areas prevents some young people, particularly those with other barriers such as special education needs and disabilities, from participating. The introduction of a new online learning programme for post-16 learners from September 2014 should help to address this.

Farnham Neighbourhood Plan

One of the reasons people move into the town is to access good schools. Farnham has several good schools, which are heavily over-subscribed, and South Farnham School remains the best state primary school in the country, according to OFSTED.

There is a shortage of places at both primary and secondary level which clearly puts pressure on school places for the current and predicted populations. A number of children are forced to make long journeys to access school places at all levels. All primary schools further. Surrey County Council expects to be able to meet demand through increasing school places on existing sites but this needs to be tested and shown to be deliverable specifically in relation to Farnham’s potential housing growth.There is a thriving sixth form college and Farnham is home to the University for the Creative Arts.