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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15/11/2005

Summary & Purpose
Farnham Town Council has commissioned the Farnham Sustainability Town Initiative Feasibility Study (also called Farnham Urban Safety Management) to examine the traffic problems of Farnham town centre and to produce proposals for solving the problems

Waverley Borough Council

[Wards Affected: Castle, Waverley, Bourne]
Summary and purpose:

Farnham Town Council has commissioned the Farnham Sustainability Town Initiative Feasibility Study (also called Farnham Urban Safety Management) to examine the traffic problems of Farnham town centre and to produce proposals for solving the problems

Environmental implications:

The implications for the town centre are considerable if the proposals are implemented, as there will be a marked reduction in air pollution and traffic noise and an improvement in conditions for pedestrians.

Social / community implications:

The improved environmental conditions could bring about an improvement in health for residents and workers in the town centre, and would benefit the attractiveness of the town centre as a place to shop.

E-Government implications:

No implications.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no resource or legal implications for the Borough at this stage but there will be an officer input when the details of the proposals are being drawn up, and there may be a collaborative approach to funding some aspects of the proposals at a later date.


1. Over the last three decades there have been a number of studies undertaken by the County Council which have sought to tackle the problem of traffic in Farnham Town Centre. The last one was the Farnham Movement Study, published in 1998. Most recently, the Town Council has initiated a study, in co-operation with the County Council, entitled the Farnham Sustainable Town Initiative Feasibility Study but referred to in this report as the Urban Safety Management Study (USMS). 2. The Study has run in parallel with the Farnham Health Check, and this has enabled a holistic picture of what is happening in the town centre to be produced. The traffic problems can be set in the context of the vision for Farnham, which is being devised at present, and in the context of wider initiatives to come, such as the Local Development Framework Farnham Area Action Plan, and the Sport and Leisure Development Plan Document. 3. The town centre can be regarded as the focus of the Farnham, and it is very likely that the Urban Safety Management Study will influence the wider infrastructure of the town.

Farnham Sustainable Town Initiative Feasibility Study.

4. There are three stages to the Study, and all have now been completed. The Study received the support of Surrey County Council at the Local Area Committee in September 2005, as a basis for being taken forward by the County Council, Waverley Borough Council and the Town Council. The document was approved by Farnham Town Council on 27th October 2005. 5. The three stages were:
I. Set up a Farnham Development Group, to include Farnham Town Council, Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council, II. Introduce a 20mph speed limit in the centre of the town. III. Manage the access of HGVs. IV. Reduce the Borough to one lane. V. Reduce the lane width of Castle Street. VI. Make South Street two way to the junction with the Borough. VII. Make sure that physical measures are not intrusive in the street scene. VIII. Where narrowing of the carriageway takes place, reallocate the space to pedestrians.

IX. Look at the best location for bus stops.

X. Improve the crossings at the bottom of Castle Street; South Street/ Union Road; Union Road/Longbridge/Downing Street; West Street/Downing Street/The Borough. This could be done by removing some of the barriers and improving the space around the crossing for pedestrians.

XI. Improve cycling facilities in line with the Cycling Strategy.

XII. Carry out monitoring of the initiatives.

Accessibility I. Set up a sub working group for community transport. II. Consider “Park and Stride” using existing car parks at the Hart, Wagon Yard, Dogflud Way (or its replacement) and a new car park at the junction of Castle Street and Park Lane. III. Develop a Parking Management Strategy. Streetscape enhancement I. Define a Historic Core Zone. II. Consider gateway treatments on all main roads into the town. III. Develop policies for all aspects of the enhancement scheme, such as paving, signage and street furniture. IV. The number of street signs should be reduced. V. Consider a sympathetic lighting scheme. Funding and implementation 6. Surrey County Council has indicated that implementation of the Study would only be available after 2010. However, there are short and medium term measures that could be undertaken prior to receiving funding from the LTP. The preparations would be made and the management structure set up. The funding would be secured and the designs drawn up and the policies for the work in the Historic Core Zone would be devised. 7. The Borough Council has been kept informed of the evolution of the Study over the past year, and officers attended a partnership workshop in September 2005 on developing a vision for Farnham. 8. Detailed consultations will form an integral part of implementation of the project, and will require effective partnership working between Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council and Farnham Town Council.

Officer comments

9. The Urban Safety Management Study is to be much welcomed, as a very comprehensive study of traffic problems in Farnham Town Centre. It also provides a number of positive solutions. There are a few points that Members might wish to consider: I. The proposals for street works are very similar to the Farnham Movement Package which was supported by the Borough Council and as such there are no radically new solutions to the traffic problems; II. The Study does not refer to any great extent to the implications for the town centre of the Hickley’s Corner underpass scheme; III. Whilst there is a need for a northern car park, that proposed at the junction of Castle Street and Park Lane would be very intrusive in the conservation area and be detrimental to the setting of the Castle, unless an appropriate landscaping and construction strategy could be devised; IV. There is a working policy for highway materials and street furniture in operation, devised by the Borough Council (because of its responsibility for the conservation area). Under the MAPs agreement, the County Council is required to consult the Borough on highway works in any conservation area. This working policy should be the basis of a formalised agreement with the County Council; and V. The proposals are complementary to other schemes and policies for the town centre.


10. The initiative by the Town Council to seek solutions to the traffic problems in Farnham should be endorsed by the Borough Council as a very welcome project that could lead to feasible solutions.

Background Papers

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

CONTACT OFFICER: Name: Geraldine Molony Telephone:01483 523296 E-mail: gmolony@waverley.gov.uk