This page gets into some rather technical details about direction signs but at its heart it is about the need for local government officers to work with, rather than subvert, local community initiatives. In 2006 the Farnham Greenway Alliance agreed designs for the Greenway network. The design remit reflected the Greenway Principles and required that signing was:
- distinctive, making a statement about the existence of Greenways as strategic, alternative transport network;
- able to convey a clear and consistent identity for each Greenway;
- inclusive, encouraging different non-motorised users;
- in line with the Department for Transport (DfT) Design Traffic Regulations to ensure the consistent signing from on-road to off-road sections;
- acceptable in off-road settings.
From these requirements it was clear that the signs for each Greenway would have a distinctive name and symbol that related to the route. The ‘Weyside Greenway’ follows the River Wey and would have a stylised river symbol. The ‘Scholars Greenway’ links schools and educational establishments and would have a mortar board symbol representing scholarship. The general layout, text fonts, user symbols, destination and distances would of course follow the DfT Design Traffic Regulations. What was not clear was the background colour as this is more or less dictated by the type of DfT directional sign chosen. The classic blue background cycle route directional sign design was rejected for three reasons. The blue colour was deemed inappropriate for the open spaces of Farnham such as Borelli Walk and Farnham Park (as confirmed by consultation with the Farnham Park Advisory Group). The design was also seen as rather exclusive, emphasising that the route was for cyclists when in fact the majority of users would likely be pedestrian. Finally, it would be quite strange to have the word ‘Greenway’ on a blue background!
In the end, some blue background signage has been erected by Surrey County Council for the Scholars Greenway between Potters Gate and Farnham Park. Elsewhere, however, we have used standard 9cm diameter waymarks. These roundels (see below right) were designed and purchased by Transition Town Farnham using the same mortar board symbol used by Surrey County Council with the background colour of ‘Farnham Greenware’.