Reduce and Avoid Traffic Congestion
Traffic congestion is arguably Farnham’s biggest problem and it costs by:
- discouraging visits to the town centre for shopping, eating and entertainment;
- detracting from the town’s attractiveness to tourists;
- wasting fuel.
As alternative routes to the town’s main amenities, the Farnham Greenways can shift some of this traffic out of motor vehicles. More significantly though, it would allow the people of Farnham to bypass the congestion to reach many of the key destinations in Farnham.
Both the proposed Greenways provide easy access to the centre of Farnham and a range of the ‘Key Destinations’, namely:
- Farnham Hospital;
- Farnham Centre for Health;
- Farnham Leisure Centre;
- Guildford Road Retail Park and Trading Estate;
- Town Council offices;
- 40 Degreez youth centre;
- 3rd and 11th Scout Group HQs;
- Daisychain Nursery;
- Weybourne Village Hall;
- Nuffield Health Centre;
- David Lloyd Club;
- University for Creative Arts;
- Disability Challengers Farnham;
- Farnham Maltings;
- Farnham railway station;
- Potters Gate Primary School;
- William Cobbett Primary School;
- Heath End Secondary School;
- Pilgrims Way Primary School;
- the planned East Street / Brightwells redevelopment.
The Greenways also connect up all the main areas of green space in and around the town centre: Farnham Park; Gostrey Meadow; the Riverside; Bishops Meadow and Borelli Walk.
The Farnham Greenways offer ‘health corridors’, away from the polluted Farnham Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), connecting many of Farnham’s leisure facilities and open spaces (see above). The Greenways promote regular walking and cycling, excellent forms of physical activity which can:
- halve the risk of developing coronary heart disease;
- reduce the risk of having a stroke;
- help lower blood pressure and relieve stress;
- reduce the chance of developing diabetes and help control it if it develops;
- reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
(Source: British Heart Foundation, Physical activity and your heart).
As Farnham is a prosperous part of Surrey, car ownership is high in Farnham and it is easy to assume that everyone has personal motor transport. They don’t. Those unable to afford a car or unable to drive for medical reasons and young people under 17 are doubly disadvantaged: first by not having use of a car and second because the congested roads around Farnham have chopped up the car-free network of paths and bridleways into isolated sections. For example, wheelchair and mobility scooter access to Gostrey Meadow from the Waggon Yard is hindered by curbs at road crossings, steps at the Gostrey Meadow entrance and motor traffic coming around the blind corners at both ends of Long Bridge Road.
Travel around the centre of Farnham is now rarely an enjoyable experience but by providing pleasant routes via Farnham Park and along the riverside, the Greenways provide the people of Farnham a better traveling environment. Journeys via the Greenways will also avoid the production of local air pollution and green-house gas emissions.
The Weyside Greenway would follow National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 22 through Farnham. NCN 22 is being built as a sustainable transport corridor from London to Portsmouth, bringing tourism to the heart of the town. As well as the business opportunities, the link to NCN 22 would provide the people of Farnham with leisure routes east to Guildford, west to Alton and south west through Alice Holt Forest towards Petersfield (the Shipwrights Way).