Farnham Infrastructure Programme

The Farnham Infrastructure Programme (FIP) was formed in 2019 when Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council, Farnham Town Council and Jeremy Hunt MP all committed to work together to tackle the town’s air quality and congestion issues. The Farnham Board was formed shortly thereafter to consider and make recommendations on the projects, plans and resources required to achieve agreed priorities for Farnham. The current Board members include five Farnham Councillors who are all members of the Farnham Residents group.

There has been progress on some fronts already, in October 2021, with HGV restrictions brought in along Castle Hill, Castle Street, Folly Hill and Upper Hale Road; and the A325 reclassified to run along the A31 bypass instead of through the town centre; and 20mph Zones across the town consulted upon, which will be introduced shortly. We are already pressing for these Zones to be extended, further up Castle Street and outside schools.

The last Farnham Board meeting on Friday 24 March, was to consider the town centre improvement plans which are: Castle Street and Downing Street improvements, changing the traffic flow direction, and widening pavements on The Borough, Castle Street and Downing Street. Careful consideration was also given on how best to link East Street (Brightwells Yard) to the town centre. One of the main objectives of the FIP is to support the economic vitality of Farnham and enable sustainable growth across the wider surrounding area, so providing a more pedestrian friendly experience, by widening the pavements in the town centre along with other measures, such as seating and outdoor dining, should encourage visitors and residents to spend longer in the town to support the economy.

Much is said about the future modal shift to active travel and how long that may take, but not much has been said about the role public transport must play in helping to achieve this. Residents who live in the hills in North and South Farnham, where cycling into town to shop is not an option, are going to need a much-improved service, if they are to be tempted to leave their cars behind. The options mentioned are designed to re-align the road structure in the town centre in order to tackle congestion and improve air quality, so it’s good to report that we have a new Air Quality Action Plan, which will ensure that this can be measured. The Plan was approved by Waverley Borough Council at their full council meeting held on Tuesday 21 March.

Peter Clark

Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council

Farnham Residents spokesman for Farnham Infrastructure Programme


The Board meeting also endorsed Farnham’s LCWIP (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan) which is designed to create cycling and walking routes across the town. The next step is now to identify the key routes for design and consultation, which will lead to bid for funding to the Active Travel group at the Department of Transport. We can look forward to the next Farnham Board meeting in June with optimism so we can move quickly to the next step, which is for the Surrey Cabinet to approve commencement of detailed design work for the town centre improvements mentioned, and most crucially, the capital spend to carry them out. This is important if we are going to achieve the projected completion date for town centre improvements of October 2025. The chair of the Farnham Board, Tim Oliver, endorsed this by saying there was no one more impatient than him and he would move quickly to get this progressed through the Surrey Cabinet.

Farnham A31 Hickley’s Corner

The A31 is a traffic bottleneck which splits Farnham in two, creating severance between southern areas and the railway station, and the central and northern areas of the town. During peak times traffic backs up along South Street, often impacting on the whole town.

The project objectives for the Farnham A31 Hickley’s Corner are to ease congestion and delays at the A31 junction with South Street and Station Hill, as well as reducing the impacts of the level crossing.

The cost of the A31 improvements is more than the Farnham Infrastructure Programme partners can afford alone. Therefore, an application has already been made for funding from the Department for Transport (DfT). To help develop and support our funding submission, we asked for feedback on the options during the town centre consultation in 2022.

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